Brothers and sisters:
Today we again remember the struggle which gave us our name and face. We remember the day in which the betrayal killed General Emiliano Zapata when he was struggling for justice. Emiliano died, but not his struggle nor his thinking. Many Emiliano Zapatas were born afterwards, and now his name is not that of one person. His name is the name of a struggle for justice, a cause for democracy, a thinking for liberty. In us, in our weapons, in our covered faces, in our true words, Zapata became one with the wisdom and the struggle of our oldest ancestors. United with Votan, Guardian and Heart of the People, Zapata rose up again to struggle for democracy, liberty and justice for all Mexicans. Even though he has indigenous blood, Votan-Zapata does not struggle just for the indigenous. He struggles also for those who are not indigenous but who live in the same misery, without rights, without justice in their jobs, without democracy for their decisions, and without freedom for their thoughts and words.
Votan-Zapata is all who march under our flag. Votan-Zapata is the one who walks in the heart of each and every one of the true men and women. All of us are one in Votan-Zapata and he is one with all of us.
The powerful and their great monies do not understand why Votan- Zapata does not die, they do not understand why he returns and rises from death to life in the words of the true men and women. They do not understand, brothers and sisters, our struggle. The power of money and arrogance can not understand Votan-Zapata. And they can not understand because there is a word that is not part of the understanding of the great thinkers who sell their intelligence to the rich and powerful. This word is DIGNITY, and dignity is something that does not reside in one's head. Dignity walks in the heart.
Today, wisdom says that the indigenous can not be Votan-Zapata, that there is a foreign step in his walk. With the weapon of betrayal with sweet and false words, with the threat of his humiliating war, with lies, the powerful wants to fell and kill for always Votan-Zapata.
That's what was done in 1521, when with swords and lies they spread death and sadness among the natives of these lands. That's what was done in 1919 when lead and trickery killed the life of Votan-Zapata who had lifted up his armed hand for land and liberty. The powerful failed in 1521; dignity is sheltered deep in the hearts of the indigenous, and it was taken care and cultivated, waiting for the time to plant and grow. The betrayal failed in 1919; dignity did not die with the death. With death life was again kept alive in the hearts of true men and women. Today, lies, betrayals and power return to fail. Votan-Zapata did not die. He is many, and it is his collective step in our words. Today Votan-Zapata struggles, in the steps of the EZLN, for Democracy, Liberty and Justice.
To our voice for a just and dignified peace, the arrogance responded with treason and falsehoods. It wants its words of trickery to make a nest in our hearts. It can't.
The powerful say today that the indigenous is good if he obeys and bad if he rebels, that the indigenous is good if he conforms and bad if he struggles, that the indigenous is good if he gives up and bad if he resists, that the indigenous is good only if he is concerned about himself, and bad if he thinks in his brothers and sisters. For this reason they want to put an end to the Zapatistas, because we are indigenous, because we are dignified, because we are rebels, because we struggle, because we resist, because we struggle for all our Mexican brothers and sisters.
The powerful say that the people of light skin bring bad ideas to the indigenous because they talk to them of struggle against injustice. That these people of light skin should die for bringing these bad ideas to the indigenous. That the indigenous were fine and content with dying as they died of poverty, that talking of dying to live, the people of light skin brought discontent and disgrace to the indigenous. This gentlemen of money do not know that, when only one color painted the skins of the inhabitants of these lands, they were struggling and fighting for truth. That the struggle for democracy, liberty and justice does not come from one color of skin or from one language; it comes from the land, from our dead who seek a dignified life for their death. To be indigenous today is to be dignified and true. Color or language does not define one as indigenous; it is the desire to struggle and to be better.
Votan-Zapata has all the colors and all the languages; his step is along all of the roads and his word grows in all hearts. Today his greatest word is in the words of the true men and women, in the indigenous who, in Southeastern Mexico, raise up their voices and their hands to speak with great and true words.
Brothers and sisters, we are all Votan-Zapata; we are all the Guardian and the Heart of the People. They can kill us, drive us to the mountains to shut up our voices, to make big lies like jails to hide our truth. But we are all the dead of always, those who died to live. Our voice will continue coming down, through many people and many roads, from the mountain to the hearts of all Mexican brothers and sisters. Our truth can not be hid because it is the truth of all who, just today, found a window in the words of the true men and women.
Greetings, brother and sister Tzotziles, Tzeltales, Tojolabales,
Choles, Zoques, Mames, Mestizos.
Greetings men and women bats.
Greetings men and women Zapatistas.
Greetings, Votan-Zapata, Guardian and Heart of the People. Although hurting, our heart is happy because being quieted we speak, hiding ourselves we show ourselves, without name we are named, being there we go, walking we are still, coming we go, dying we live.
- Live Emiliano Zapata!
- Live Votan-Zapata!
- Live always the dead of always!
- Live the Mexican indigenous!
- Live the EZLN!
>From the mountains of Southeastern Mexico, dignified heart of the Motherland.
Indigenous Revolutionary Clandestine Committee
-General Command of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation
Mexico, April 1995