4th of May of 1998
Brothers and sisters:
We want to say our word concerning the last shameful acts in "Ricardo Flores Magon" and "Tierra y Libertad".
Our autonomous municipalities are legal, their legality is in article 39 of the Policyal Constitution of the Mexican United States that says the town has at all times the right to elect their form of government.
We as Pueblo Indians have decided to govern ourselves with Liberty, Democracy and Justice and have formed our own municipalities and have democratically named our authorities.
Our legality comes from the Mexican Constitution and the agreements of San Andres that the government of Mexico signed in February of 1996.
With their policyal and military attack against us, the Federal and State government puts itself in illegality because no State or Municipal law can be on top of the Carta Magna that is the Constitution.
Our Autonomous Municipalities are equally legitimate as are its Municipal Councils that are the authorities that the towns named that form these Municipalities and the same towns endorse them and make them legitimate. That is what the Government of the towns is and the towns say how long they will last and if they fulfill or do not fulfill to put to others.
The Federal and State government is illegitimate because they were not named by the town and they do not have the endorsement and the support of the towns.
For example, Mr. Albores Guillen is illegitimate in that he was not named by the town of Chiapas and is an unknown that passes by drunk and was put in place by Mr. Zedillo to help him in his war against us. His government is illegitimate and antidemocratic.
We that are the municipal authorities of the Autonomous Councils are not auto-denominated. The towns have elected us freely and democratically and have named us, that is, they have given us the charge that we have and only they can remove them.
And for example Mr. Albores Guillen is auto-denominated Governor of Chiapas but to him no one of the town named him, however he puts himself to giving orders in the middle of his drunken bouts and orders the repressing of indigenous so that the big rich and policyal bosses (tyrants?) will applaud.
To the Autonomous Council of the Municipality "Tierra y Libertad" the government accuses of kidnapping a Guatemalan refugee. It is a lie. The government says it that way to make it seem like there is a confrontation between the zapatistas against the Guatemalan refugees.
Of this accusation we say that we are not against the refugees. If it is that some one is in jail it is that he has a crime like whomever that has a crime is punished and we the Autonomous Councils obey that which the towns command us and how justice should be made in regards to those who committed crimes; but to the one who has no crime that one is not bothered and we respect him.
A clear showing that we are not against the Guatemalan refugees is that within the Community of Amparo Agua Tinta there are various Guatemalans who were there without problem and happily working within the Autonomous Municipality. With them there were no problems nor did they have a crime and they lived there. In our communities we receive with brotherhood and understanding the brother refugees when they are persecuted by the Guatemalan army or the Mexican who as well persecutes them.
Another thing that we see is that the government says that they do not want to internationalize the conflict, but we see it said that the attack against the Municipality of "Tierra and Libertad" was by petition of the United Nations Organization.
That is how the Mexican government acted like police beneath the orders of a foreign organization. It is clearly seen that the government does not defend the national sovereignty and that they only fulfill the orders of rich foreigners.
The Mexican government uses the pretext of an international organization to justify its war against the indigenous of this country. Here we clearly see that the government is the one that wants foreign intervention and we are not the zapatistas.
What is more we want to say our word to those of the United Nations Organization because we want them to explain why if it is that this organism was made to prevent the making of wars in the world then why do they send the armies and the police of Mexico to make war against the zapatista indigenous.
SeÒores of the UNO explain to us why this is.
Because we know as well that there are international laws of the UNO that protect the indigenous in their forms of government and culture and so how is it possible that those laws say to respect us and you violate your own laws and you send the Army and the Police of Mexico to strike us, jail us and assassinate us.
According to what we know there is a part of the UNO that is called ACNUR which has to help the refugees of the whole world so that they can return to their lands to live in peace.
So then we ask how does ACNUR explain that they have used the Army and the Police of the government of Mexico to attack an indigenous community, to strike, torture and jail indigenous men, women, children and elders and accompany the Mexican government in the war that is made against our towns and that has caused thousands of indigenous who are men, women, children and elders to leave their communities so as to not die at the hands of the soldiers, police and paramilitaries at the service of the Mexican government and, according to what is seen, as well as, in service to ACNUR.
Maybe what is happening is that the seÒores of ACNUR do not want to be without jobs and for that reason in place of solving the problem of the refugees they are making it bigger and more grave.
What is more we want to say that the Autonomous Governments will not be done away with by the destruction of some houses or signboards because the Autonomous Governments are of all the towns that we name and we were elected by the same towns that endorse and give us life because the Autonomous Governments live in the heart of the towns and in their thoughts and no one can destroy our hearts and our thoughts which are those that give group life to their authorities and we will maintain all the time that it is necessary and we will continue to be rebels until the Federal Government fulfills our just demands and the dignity of all the Indian towns of Mexico.
Now to finish, brothers and sisters of Mexico and the world, this is the message of the zapatista indigenous:
First.- Our Autonomous Municipalities are legal because they are protected in article 39 of the Policyal Constitution of the Mexican United States that is the highest law of the Mexicans that says that the town has at all times the right to decide its form of government and we have decided to govern ourselves in Autonomous Municipalities as part of the Mexican Republic.
We do not want to separate ourselves from Mexico neither do we want to be part of another country but we are exercising our rights as the Mexicans we are and that we will continue to be always.
The existence of the Autonomous Municipalities was accepted by the Federal and State governments in the agreements of San Andres and therefore are legal in accordance with the Carta Magna and the agreements of San Andres.
Second.- With its repressive actions the Federal and State government puts themselves in illegality because they violate the Mexican constitution and the agreements of San Andres.
The Federal and State government should be judged for violating the State of Law that establishes the Mexican constitution.
Third.- The Autonomous indigenous Municipalities are legitimate because they endorse the Indian towns and because they command obedience.
Fourth.- The Governments of Zedillo and Albores Guillen are illegitimate because the town does not support them; they only endorse the big monies but not the poor who are the great majority of the Mexicans.
Fifth.- The government of Zedillo and Albores is internationalizing the conflict because they obey the repressive orders of international organisms and because they continue striking the national organizations that can help the peace like the CONAI, the COCOPA, the non-governmental organizations, the social organizations and civil society.
Sixth.- The United Nations is making themselves accomplices of the war of extermination of the indigenous that the Mexican government brings forward.
Seventh.- We are not going to give up.
They can take us all prisoner, they can strike and assassinate us, they can destroy, rob and burn our homes like they did in Tani Perlas and in Amparo Agua Tinta, but we are not going to give up.
Brothers and sisters:
Today the houses of wood and earth of the indigenous governments are burned and destroyed.
Today the houses and palaces of the governments of Zedillo and Albores are very luxurious and well-taken care of.
Today the Federal and State governments are dead because no one gives them support.
Today the indigenous governments are alive because we are in all the towns.
For this we want to remind the Mexican indigenous today that in the battle of 5 de mayo (May 5th) many years ago the armies were resisted and the indigenous Benito Juarez was expulsed from his House of Government and had to govern going from one side, for another resisting until those won who had reason and those lost who had force.
That is the way it will be if it is given like that.
Thank you brothers and sisters.
Signed: Men, women, children and elders of the indigenous Municipalities.