To the Second National Indigenous Assembly

May 20, 1995

To: Second National Indigenous Assembly
Hills of Huamuchil, Municipality of Cajeme, Sonora, Mexico

From: Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos
CCRI-CG of the EZLN, Chiapas, Mexico


By orders of my companeros of the Clandestine Revolutionary Indigenous Army of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation, I write to you on the occasion of the celebration of your second National Assembly on May 27-28, 1995 in the courageous lands of Sonora.

In the second meeting for Dialogue in San Andres Sacamachen de los Padres, Chiapas, between the EZLN and the supreme government, some brothers invited us to participate and to send Zapatista delegates to the National Indigenous Assembly during which time the Initiative for the Right to Create Autonomous Multi-Ethnic Regions in Mexico will be discussed.

Unfortunately, because of the military blockade and policy of persecution against us, it is impossible for Zapatista delegates to attend. However we take the opportunity through this letter to make some comments regarding the "Decree Initiative" that will be discussed, and to send a Zapatista greeting to the participants in this Second National Indigenous Assembly.

FIRST.- In the chapter called "Exposition of Motives" for the "Initiative by Decree for the Creation of Multi-Ethnic Autonomous Regions", on page 3, it is stated that: "In particular the indigenous peoples have been kept iniquitously excluded, in various ways, from the political planning of the country, which has prevented them from exercising the fundamental right to protect their interests and manage their issues within the limits of just laws. " This is true, but it is not only true for the Indian peoples. There is no social group in Mexico, other than the handful of ruling rich who usurp the political will. The struggle of the Mexican indigenous has its particular characteristics and its own demands, but they will only be resolved if the great national problems, those that affect the great majorities of Mexico, and which are the lack of democracy, liberty and justice, are solved.

SECOND.- We think that in the part called "Exposition of Motives" a fundamental reference is missing: the strategy of annihilating the indigenous which is implied in the neoliberal policy of the Mexican government. The national project of the technocrats who govern Mexico does not try to "include" the indigenous, but rather it wants to MAKE THEM DISAPPEAR, to annihilate them as a social group, as a culture, as a collective way of living. The struggle of the indigenous in the past, the indigenous struggle is for the present... and for a future. For this reason the struggle of the indigenous should be part of the national struggle for democracy, liberty and justice.

THIRD.- The proposals which reform and add to the 4th, 73rd, 115th, and 116th articles of the Political Constitution of the Mexican United States seem to be fine in general. However we think that they should consider two fundamental questions:

a).- They should be written into the project for a New Political Constitution.

b).- They should be put to a referendum or plebescite among the indigenous peoples and communities throughout the country. The opinion of those people most directly affected is the most important.

This is our thoughts, brothers. We hope that our opinion is of some use to you, and that you have success in your assembly.

Health and that the indigenous force and thinking be a power that unites.

>From the mountains of Southeastern Mexico.
Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos
Mexico, May 1995

(translated by Cindy Arnold, National Center for Democracy, Justice and Liberty, an affiliate of the National Commission for Democracy in Mexico, USA)

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