Brothers and sisters:
By this means we want to inform you of the consultation conducted among the members of the Zapatista Army for National Liberation regarding the government's proposal made to the Zapatista delegates on April 23, 1995, in San Andres Sacamach'en de los Pobres, Chiapas.
The government proposal was the following:
"The EZLN will pull together its members known as insurgents into three locations determined by the parties.
In correspondence the federal government will guarantee the physical security of these contingents and will give them the services of housing, food, healthcare and hygiene services that they will need.
In addition it will reduce substantially its presence into the three following areas:
1. First Meeting Location: Los Altos
2. Second Meeting Location: Meseta
3. Third Meeting Location: The Jungle"
Regarding this, we make the following report:
First. That the full Clandestine Revolutionary Indigenous Committee--General Command of the EZLN was consulted, as well as the clandestine committees of each distinct ethnic group, the regional committees, the local committees, and the bases of support and combatant force of the EZLN.
Second. That the inherenet difficulties of a terrain militarized by the forces of occupation of the supreme government caused the consultation to have to be carried out very slowly, and that the limited amount of time available prevented us from discussing in depth the point during the consultation.
Third. That by unanimity this proposal from the government was rejected, with the following considerations:
a) We ask that the federal Army return to its positions held on February 8, 1995. In exchange we offer to remain in our positions in the mountains, and not take control of the territory that the Army withdraws from, which is to say that we would not put up checkpoints.
In addition we offer our commitment to not conduct any military movement while the dialogue is on-going.
The government proposes to us that we subordinate ourselves to it, and that we disarm. The fact that it made this proposal to us just reflects the fact that the intention of the government, and the team that represents it, is to mock us.
The government hasn't even bothered to listen to what those who have risen up in arms are asking for; it hasn't even made a serious offer to solve their problems; it hasn't even moved its troops (except to increase them); it hasn't even tried to put a check on the white guards who swarm throughout Chiapas; it hasn't even understood the nature of the Zapatista movement.
In summary the government hasn't even begun to see the problem that it faces, and yet it now asks for an agreement to end the war.
Because that is the meaning of their proposal: "the war has ended, you are not going to fight anymore."
The government asks us Zapatistas to accept that the war has ended, that we are threatened by the soldiers, that the government hasn't even listened to our demands, that every thing continues the same everywhere, and that the war that we started to change all of this has now ended, without anything changing.
The government mocks us, again, just as it has done for centuries.
b) Do we refuse to have the war end? No we do not refuse. For this reason we made the point of a "ceasing of hostilities" at the end of the agenda, so that after seeing that the problems are addressed with actions and not with discussions, in a manner with dignity and respect, the end of the conflict will be agreed upon.
A dialogue can not be initiated with a given that the war which prompted the dialogue is over, yet not have addressed the causes which provoked the war.
The war ends when the dialogue ends, when the causes of the war are resolved, when things change, not when they continue the same.
c) The government disdains our proposal, it mocks it. We are offering, in military terms, to return to our positions of December 1993; we offer to renounce control of a territory that the government and its soldiers know is ours (for this reason they have so much military equipment there, because they have to occupy the territory militarily in order to control it). We offer to not put checkpoints nor impede free transit; we offer to not place guards in the villages or on the roads.
In summary we offer, in military terms, to stay like there had been no war.
In exchange we do not ask the government to withdraw to its positions of December 1993.
We concede to them that they maintain the blockade or that they fortify it if they want to and have the money to, but that they leave the space free for movement and residence by the villagers so that they can be consulted.
d) The government argues for the necessity of the federal Army's presence with the lie of the "return of the displaced". The problem of the displaced paid by the government, everyone knows it, makes up part of the plan of military counterinsurgency. We commit ourselves to controlling our people so that there are no reprisal or harassment measures taken.
We are willing to have a delegation of the National Commission of Human Rights and of Non-Governmental Human Rights Organizations permanently supervise the zone. The government knows that the problem is not the displaced because it hasn't even convinced everyone to return, and it also knows that, before the stupidity of February 9th, they were returning without any problem.
The recent threats of the government, of mobilizing the displaced to counteract the demonstrations of sympathy for the Zapatistas, shows the real base of the "displaced" operators.
e) We are not asking for the humiliation of the federal Army and the government. We are asking and offering reciprocal and proportionate measures to reduce tensions that avoid an armed confrontation and that allow a rapid consultation regarding the peace agreements. We are offering to maintain our armed force in their positions in the mountains, returning to our positions of December 1993.
In exchange we ask that the federal Army go back to its positions of February 8, 1995. We are offering more in proportional terms, because we know that we are stronger than the government, and for this reason it is our place to offer more. But of our dignity we will not give anything, because we rose up in arms to defend it from the government's contempt.
f) In exchange for this Zapatista willingness to reduce tensions and seek a political solution, the supreme government has offered to corral into "reservations" the indigenous who rose in arms and for liberty. The so-called "points of concentration" are proposed with the goal of provoking the justified indignation of the Zapatistas and to force a rupturing of the dialogue. A poor provocation, stupid and poorly described, is what the government's proposal for "reducing tensions".
Fourth. That the Zapatista bases ordered the delegates of the EZLN to meet with the government, to insist on the proposal of the CCRI-CG of the EZLN for reciprocal and proportional measures of reducing tension, with the goal of putting off the danger of armed confrontations and provocations, as well as to allow a faster and more in-depth consultation regarding the agreements which are developed in this dialogue and negotiations with the government.
Fifth. That the CCRI-CG of the EZLN, therefore, rejects the government's proposal for reducing tensions in consideration of the facts that it is not the right time, that it lacks seriousness, and that it is an affront to the indigenous people's dignity, the historical origin of our motherland.
The EZLN ratifies its proposal and exhorts the federal government to commit itself to measures that facilitate dialogue, negotiations, consultations, and the development of agreements that bring an end to the war and bring a peace with justice and dignity for all Mexicans.
Sixth. That the Zapatista Army for National Liberation reiterates its willingness to dialogue and that it will continue on with its public commitment to look for a political solution to our just demands.
>From the mountains of Southeastern Mexico.
Clandestine Revolutionary Indigenous Committee
--General Command of the Zapatista Army for National Liberation