Death has visited us dressed in olive green; every second, a flight

To the national and international press:
To the national weekly magazine Proceso
To the national daily newspaper La Jornada
To the national daily newspaper El Financiero:
To the local daily newspaper in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, Tiempo:

February 20, 1995


Diverse communications are going. Let's see when and how. Here the cold and the military blockade bears down. The tobacco now smells and hurts of death. What's going on outside? Are you happy with the $20 billion? And who's going to pay them back?

Health and one of those piggy banks to guard hopes of the size of an old cent (one is as scarce as another).

From the mountains of Southeastern Mexico.

Subcomandante Insurgent Marcos.
February 1995.



I failed you this time, Esteban M.Guajardo. Guadalupe Tepeyac was not Chinameca. More luck, more soldiers, and more balls the next time. What is your next move? Go to Yeso in Jatate? Or the Break in Yuro in Montes Azules?


"Here I go, breaking myself into pieces, and patching body and spirit. Today I broke a piece of my shoulder. It broke just like that and sounded like a dry branch under a boot. Hardly a "crack". A little later a dry blow was heard and it fell to the floor. I picked it up, and I arranged it to the best of my knowledge of anatomy. I tied it up with a reed and continued walking. Yesterday it was a piece of my right thigh that broke and fell. I do not lose hope that a good piece of such an impertinent nose will fall off, and leave me, therefore, with a profile that is less aerodynamic but more manageable. I do not desire it because I want to contradict the bread-crumbed Attorney General and the history of the man from Tampique, but because it would deform the skimasks less.

Yesterday, day 13, death, dressed in olive green, came within 10 or 15 meters of where we were. I told Camilo that it was 20 meters, but when the soldiers left, we went down and counted 10 meters to exactly where the patrol of federal soldiers had passed. Now, like a year ago, every second there is a flight between life and death. An eagle or sun. Life falls or death falls. Like in the Cantinflas movie with Medel?, where he sings of "how I miss you woman, how I miss you...", and Marcelo explains to Cantinflas that "the woman, since our mother Eve...because in the first global conflageration..." and Cantinflas responds with "a woman is like a flower and a flower has to be watered, when one waters it, [pos] waters it..."

And thinking of Cantinflas, the money makes circles in the air, and we, advancing slowing, pulling ourselves along, without water or food but with mud and thorns sufficient enough to pay the total sum of the Mexican external debt if a price is set on them in the stock market. "But they are don't have any value"--Camilo says to me. "Neither does our blood"--added my other self, who, instead of a suitcase carries skepticism everywhere and does not appear to tire. I noticed that the senses begin to dull. On this day of death at 10? meters I was against a rock. I was relaxing little by little. Without making a sound I took off the safety on the weapon, and pointed it towards the sound. I wasn't thinking; it seemed like time stood still at the end of my finger, on the trigger. Without fear but without courage. As if seeing everything from outside, as if I was tiring, as if in a movie that I had seen many times before, in history, in life, in death. Dulled, I say. --"Like a machine"--says my other self. Camilo doesn't say anything, only murmuring that it was 10 meters and 30 soldiers and us 3 and that, according to higher mathematics, each of us had to take on 10 to come out alive. Camilo said that he did that calculation. I didn't calculate anything, all I saw was me with my finger on the trigger, immobile, like a single snapshot repeated until one is sick from an endless movie. Camilo didn't study at Oxford nor in Massachusetts (is that how it's spelled?); he barely got through second grade in a village in the jungle, and he learned mathematics in the mountains. Myself, I was thinking about a wonderful risk with this finger on the trigger...but my other self told me that this wasn't the time for banter...

Did I say a year ago? I lie, it was more than a year ago. In January. A year ago, in February, we were in the Cathedral in San Cristobal de las Casas talking of peace. Today we are in the jungle and talking of war. Why? Has someone asked this man why? Why did he trick us? Why did he feign a commitment to coming to a just political agreement and then launch a terror that has now escaped from his hands?

Well then, I talked to him, or better, I talked with Camilo and on this page in the notebook about how the body parts are falling and I don't understand why, and Camilo is not going to answer because he has fallen asleep in the middle of this tall grass. The helicopters above, and the chac- chac-chac-chac of the blades are all around us, and I remember that "chac" in Tzotzil means "asshole", and from the "asshole-asshole-asshole" of the helicopters I return again to my notebook. My other self says to me, biting my pipe,--"It doesn't matter, no one is going to read it"--, and the notebook, for a change, doesn't say anything. I let it go, and I realize that a first small crack has appeared in my body, and then it deepens, and then a piece comes off and falls. I tried to put it back again, and I tied it with a reed, and it doesn't hurt. But I'm not worried, but I happened to put in on the wrong side...For example, if it goes on the right side and I put it on the left side or vice versa? What political implications would this error have? Clearly, until now it has not been a problem, because the two sides have not fallen off at the same time...My other self looks at the notebook to read the last lines and capitalizes--"No one is going to read it"-- and tries to nap when the helicopters give up their place to the crickets.

Today is the day of love and friendship. Here there is no better friend than death nor better love than his mortal kiss..."


Anyway, I prefer to die here, rather than have to confront Eva someday and try to explain why I couldn't evacuate her videocassettes of Bambi, Jungle Book, and The School of Vagabonds with (somebody doubts it?) Pedro Infante and Miroslava. Eva said that Bambi is a female, Heriberto said that it was male. Eva argued that you could tell it was a she by the eyes. Heriberto said that it was male because of the horns.--"and in addition, at the end he leaves with a girlfriend--" responded Heriberto who, as one can see, is not a child but a dwarf.


Tonita also left fleeing for the mountains. She had on some new white shoes, that some good person from somewhere had sent her. Tonita had her shoes in her hands. _--"Why don't you put them on?-- I asked her after receiving a gesture of rejection to my nth request for a kiss.--"Well, because they will get dirty"--she responded to me with the inexplicable logic of a 6 year old girl in the Lacandon jungle. I have not seen her again...


I, the recurring postscript, recommend to the government that it withdraw the arrest order against the Sup. The result has been, that since he has known that he was pursued, the Sup has been insufferable. And I don't just refer to his obsession with death, with the result that now he believes that in truth he is John the Devil and he's always telling us not to worry, that the Twisted One is going to come to save us...But this isn't the worst. The worst is that he doesn't let us sleep, talking with us about such and such Monica or such and such Aimee. What do you think we should do? Nothing decorous, believe me. My discretion prevents me from putting down the details. I tried to dissuade him by telling him this soap opera had ended a long time ago, but he said that he was going to look for Marimar. I reminded him of the boycott against Televisa, and he responded that then he was going to go with the kittens of Poorcell. Arguing against that, telling him that TV Azteca also had asked for his head (the Sup's), he murmured something like this--"Some day there will be objective television in this country"-- He left, sleepy and murmuring- --"What are we going to do, here we may die, in the region with the clearest air..." I told him that it will be "to live" but he no longer was listening to me. Overhead the sound of a military plane, and Belt of Orion were the only cover for his restlessness...

Goodbye again. Health and a small remembrance for this song of J.M. Serrat that end with:

"It is not that I haven't returned because I have forgotten, It is that I lost the road to return..."

The Sup delinquent, transgressor and hiding in the hills

Sub. Marcos

(translated by Cindy Arnold, volunteer, National Commission for Democracy in Mexico)

Jornada Feb. 25 pg. 16

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