To the people of Mexico:
To the Peoples and Governments of the World:
To the National and International Press:
Brothers and Sisters:
Today, August 27, 1995, the National Plebiscite for Peace and Democracy convened by the EZLN will be carried out. By means of this letter we want to express our thoughts:
First.- The EZLN has taken the intiative of the national plebiscite, as another demonstration of its will to solve the conflict by political means. Far from recurring to the argument of weapons, the EZLN has insisted on recurring to dialogue to seek a transition to democracy in Mexico. The democratization of the country is the only possible way to get out of the political, economic and social crisis that is overwhelming the country. The national plebiscite is the ratification of the EZLN's commitment to a peace with justice and dignity.
Second.- Amidst the evident signs of the transition to fascism, all of them stemming from the system of the party-state, the EZLN reiterates its call for an effort involving the democratizing forces, which encompass all of the political and social spectrum of Mexico, in order to achieve the profound changes that are needed. An important part of this effort for democratic change is dialogue among the distinct social and political forces. The national plebiscite is part of this effort and part of the national dialogue.
Third.- A new political culture is emerging in Mexico, not coming from the government or the political parties or even the EZLN. A great popular movement, with a varied social composition, has been born. This broad movement is the birthplace of this new culture. We are not inventing anything, we are uniting ourselves to this culture. The national plebiscite is a demonstration of our willingness to learn.
Fourth.- We have directed ourselves to an entire country to ask Mexicans their thoughts about the principal problems of the country, about the ways to overcome them, about the future of the EZLN and about the recognition that Mexican women deserve. The national plebiscite called for by the EZLN is for democracy.
Fifth.- The EZLN has committed itself already, since issuing the call, to listen to the voice of the people of Mexico in the plebiscite and to go forward, as a result, in agreement with its results.The national plebiscite will define the direction of the EZLN.
Sixth.- To the government's violence, the EZLN responded with the dialogue. To the government's intolerance, the EZLN responded with calls for inclusion. To the government's war, the EZLN responded with a search for a peace with justice and dignity. The national plebiscite is the reiteration of the obvious: the commitment to peace is on the side of the EZLN, the interest in war is on the side of the government.
With respect we direct ourselves to all the social sectors which make up the Mexican nation to ask them to participate in this effort for peace and democracy, to ask them to express their opinion about the six questions, to ask them to construct the peace with justice and dignity that we Mexicans deserve, to ask them to struggle for democracy, liberty and justice.
>From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast.
Indigenous Revolutionary Clandestine Committee
General Command of the Zapatista Army for National Liberation