To the People of Mexico:
To the Peoples and Governments of the World:
To the National and International Press:
Brothers and Sisters:
This is our response to the government's lies about our proposal for a Corridor as part of the implementation of the Minimal Accord of May 15, 1995.
FIRST.- In the Communique that the government delegation released July 6, 1995 at the end of the fourth meeting in San Andres the following was stated:
"4.- On the theme of reducing tensions, a proposal was made by the EZLN as an effort to comply with the Minimal Accord for Reducing Tensions, subscribed to by the parties, last May 14th. However, this route does not correspond to any of the seven [routes] considered in this document, and does not assume the responsibilities that had been established."
SECOND.- In the communique that the government's delegation released on July 24, 1995 during the fifth Meeting in San Andres, the following was stated:
"1. The OCOSINGO-SAN QUINTIN corridor proposed by the EZLN does not comply with the Minimal Agreement for Reducing Tensions agreed to by the Parties, as it is a substantially different option than those seven corridors proposed by the Government and accepted previously by the EZLN."
THIRD.- In these points from the two communiques from the government's delegation, two statements were made that do not correspond with reality, and that must be cleared up: First, the "Minimum Accord" was adopted on May 15, not May 14, and second, in it, no corridor was considered. The seven corridors referred to by the government's communique are part of the proposal for "Integrated Reduction of Tensions" which the government presented May 14 and which were not, and have not been, agreed upon by the Parties.
FOURTH.- In addition, the arguments that the government delegations present to explain their not accepting the corridor proposal made by the EZLN are not acceptable for reasons that are explained in the following:
The objections that the government's delegates present to the proposal of an OCOSINGO-SAN QUINTIN corridor, which the EZLN presented at the negotiating table in San Andres on July 6, 1995, and to which the government's delegation was asked to provide a formal response during this [meeting] on July 24, are based fundamentally on two suppositions that are false (in addition to the inaccuracies noted earlier), both of which refer to the Minimal Accord adopted on May 15th.
a) The first of these objections is that the OCOSINGO-SAN QUINTIN corridor, proposed by the EZLN, does not coincide with any of the seven corridors that the government proposed and that supposedly were accepted in the Minimal Accord. But this is precisely the falsehood: as it has been mentioned, in the text of Minimal Accord of May 15th no specific corridor was included and it is in the text of the government's proposal for "Integral reductions of tensions" that the seven corridors are included and about which the EZLN has not made any agreement. These corridors, as such, are no more than proposals from one of the Parties (the government). What the Minimum Accord of May 15th says regarding this item in point #3 is that the means of reducing tensions "...includes the regrouping of the Mexican Army in a determined space, located along the corridor agreed upon by the Parties..." it is clear therefore that it does not have to be one of those proposed by the government, as the governments delegation now states, but rather that it could be another (proposed by the EZLN, elaborated by the Parties, or by CONAI).
b) The second objection is based also on another consideration regarding the minimal accord, equally without basis: the responsibility to which point 4 of the governments communique from July 6th, and points 3 and 4 from the July 24th communique which refer to the supposed commitment of the EZLN to take responsibility for order and public safety in the corridor. Although it is not clearly stated in the governments's communiques, the goverment delegates demonstrated in the last plenary of July 6th and in the July 24th session, their dissatisfaciton that the EZLN's proposal for a corridor does not include this supposed commitment. Well now, there is no reason for it to appear, since in point 3 of the minimal agreement it was stated that the EZLn "will assume the responsibility for order and public safetly as the law allows...", which does not mean that it would have to be responsible for them (order and public safety). The responsiblity could involve, clearly, as the EZLN stated in its proposal for the O-SQ corridor, in not interfering in the carrying out of the functions of order and public safety which correspond to the appropriate authorities (civilian, and not military, in agreement with the Constitution and the laws).
At the same time, the same reference to "order and public safety as the law allows." excludes the possibility that the EZLN be responsible for these functions, since, neither the Law for Dialogue, Negotiation, and Dignified Peace in Chiapas, nor in any other law, is it suggestted that the EZLN could exercise functions that would virtually be those of the police or District Attorney's office (involved in the prevention or prosecution of crimes). In addition (besides the lack of logic in making an armed organization responsible for order) Article 21 of the Constitution in its fifth paragraph says that public safety is a "responsibility of the Federation, Federal District, states and municipalities, in their respective areas as stated in this Constitution..." This implies that in order for the government's proposal that the EZLN be responsable for order and public safety, one of the two has to occur; a violation of the Constitution; or the "legalization" of the EZLN as a force of the federation, state, or municipalities, reform the Constitution or recognize the EZLN as a belligerrent force".
FIFTH- In summary, the EZLN's proposal for a corridor does not contradict the May 15th minimal accord regarding measures for reducing tensions, since with this agreement it was not established that the EZLN itself, would be responsible for order and public safety in the corridors that the parties eventually agreed to.
SIXTH- Now the government says, in addition, that our propsal is "extemporaneous". What is extemporaneaous is their alleged will to dialogue. Extemporaneous is their apparent willingness to resolve the miserable conditions into which their economic program has submerged millions of Mexicans, especially the indigenous people. Extemporaneous is the beating of their chests and the hypocritical regrests about those which the government had forgotten, the original inhabitants of these lands. Extemporaneous is their confession that they have not set aside a military solution to the conflict and the annihilation of our organization.
SEVENTH- The "gentlemen" who are the government delegates have not tired of threatening us or attempting to achieve our submission. Now they want to blackmail us by saying that unless we accept the timeline they want for the dialogue, they will begin to resolve the social and economic problems of the indigenous people WITHOUT us. For six months they have said they have the economic package ready, that thousands upon millions are destined to allevite the situation, including the great use of propaganda in order to announce their alms. But reality does not believe lies. Even the campesinos of the CNC complain about the constant false statements which confirm nothing, or which is so minimal it cannot resolve the problem. The government wishes to buy us, and they use, not money, but words. As though we would accept selling our dignity and a peace agreement in exchange for money and promises.
The government says it will resolve the problems without us. Fine, we agree. We have never fought to obtain economic benefits for ourselves , we fight because it is our obligation as human beings, we fight because our dignity was wounded by shame. If the government wishes to resolve the people's necessities without us it is fine. No matter what they do, they will be unable to erase the history of this country which is now due to the EZLN, to the spilled blood and suffering of the Zapatistas, who were obligated to attend to these problems. At any rate, they will never be able to take from the hearts of our companeros, that our struggle brought them relief, and not the hypocrisy of a government of criminals. We will abide by all we have written in our heart and in our word.
EVERYTING FOR EVERYBODY, NOTHING FOR OURSELVES!
Indigenous Revolutionary Clandestine Committee
-General Command of the Zapatista Army for National Liberation,