It continues raining here

Zapatista Army of National Liberation
September 8, 1998

To whom it may concern:
Ladies and gentlemen:

The response to the invitation has gone out already. It continues raining here. The goverment only remembers Chiapas when it needs to make demagoguery and to improve its public image. Certainly Zedillo will come to the southeastern coast to hide the dead, to promise aid, to have photos taken, to repair croquettes and to cover up omissions and negligence. For the rest, the rains have been here several days now, but Albores is too busy in the boudoir to even think about an emergency plan. There the government knows how to kill indigenous, but never how to keep them from dying. Meanwhile the army's planes and helicopters are making their overflights of zapatista communities, when they are freed up they will go to attend to the victims. The rivers seem to be angry, they are destroying weak bridges and roads with a ferocity, which the government report call "important infrastructure works" in the social spending in Chiapas. Why don't they go take a look at those works, whose inauguration they disseminated so widely?

Regardless, the rains do not watch television nor do they respect the set design for operettas. As always, not until the deaths reach national and international news, is there any sense of urgency to those forgetful ones whom we suffer as the government. This is how it is now with the indigenous in Mexico: they only exist and are named when they are dead.

Be well and, when will Chiapas no longer exist on government maps only when there are rebellions, deaths or catastrophes?

From the mountains of Southeastern Mexico.
Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos
Mexico, September 1998

P.S. Despite insignificant and irrelevant government reports, and as part of the great festivities, here is...

The recurring postscript section!

P.S. Where it rains and gets wet. Marshall 'Croquettes' Albores and his little soldiers are rubbing their hands together about the rain catastrophe which is battering the Chiapas coast. Millions of pesos will be sent to help the victims. Little or nothing will reach the hands of the needy. Much or all of it will go to fatten the back accounts of the substitute of the usurper of The Dogs gang. But, you can be sure, you will now see Zedillo on the main page in photos and reports, trying to look serious and announcing rescue plans and calm-everything- is-under-control-children. Ah, poor Chiapas! The government wanting to forget about you and the rains, which do not listen to government reports, come to batter paths and memories...

P.S. Which says what it says. I was with Pedrito one afternoon, both of us smoking (he, a chocolate cigarette, and I, a pipe), when I wanted to be like Old Antonio, and I began to lecture Pedrito (tojolabal and two years old) about life and painful treasures. And I began to tell him:

- Look, Pedrito, there are things you need to know about for when you grow up. Important things like tying your boots, doing up your shirt without missing any buttons, getting comfortable in the hammock, lighting the pipe with the pot mouth down, and other etceteras which you will be learning about. But now we are going to talk about when a man loves a woman.

Pedrito was looking at me seriously, and he continued sucking on his chocolate cigarette. I suppose that I had then, as they say, "captured" his attention, and I continued:

- Look, Pedrito, when a man loves a woman... because it's not the same as when a woman loves a man, or when a man loves another man, or when a woman loves another woman, because it is everything, and it's necessary to know and to understand it. But, good, when a man loves a woman...because it's not that easy to explain either as, for example, what you have to do in order to not miss buttons when you put a shirt on, a complicated thing if you don't pay the necessary attention and care. For example, I use the technique of "from the bottom up" which, in addition to being a concept of political science, is very good for buttoning up. Look, you put on the shirt and look down below, seriously and with concentration -

Pedrito frowned and looked at me seriously

- Like that! Good, then continue lining up the lower edges of the shirt, the right at the same level as the left, and it's not as simple as the "centrists" in politics make it appear, here, if you aren't careful, you can pass the left, which, in any case, wouldn't be consistent, but you could also pass the right, and then it would indeed be veeery regrettable. Then balance is very important, they must be even. Then you have to look for the bottom button on the shirt, and the bottom button isn't always the last one, but, you should know this Pedrito, there are some evil shirt manufacturers who put on an extra button (to put back on if you lose one, they say) for the obvious purpose of making this indispensable garment difficult to button. Good, now that you've found the last button, keep on looking for the corresponding button- hole (double entendre fanciers, refrain), something which is more difficult to find than any reference to Chiapas in Zedillo's report. As you will know much later on, you never lack a ripped seam for a hole. It could be, but what is certain is that there are more buttons than buttonholes, as you will see when you miss buttons. Certainly there are other techniques for not missing buttons. There is, for example, the method of the Sea, who puts on shirts as if they were tshirts. That is, she does not undo them. Ergo, there are no missing buttons. However, I do not recommend that technique because...Good, but, given that the Sea, etcetera, I was explaining to you that when a man loves a woman...Good, you see now, Pedrito, that it is very difficult to explain how it is when a man loves a woman and, nonetheless, it's very important to understand it, because...

While I was explaining, Pedrito ate his cigarette. "Cocate," he said to me, while stretching out his hand, asking me, in his dialect, for more chocolates. "There aren't any," I told him. He turned around and left. It's obvious that today's youth has no interest in important issues (sigh). Where was I? Ah, yes! When a man loves a woman...

P.S "Sea-horse Stories" Section (the gifts follow):

Rose-Coloured Shoelaces

Once upon a time there was a pair of shoes which used, like all the other shoes, black or brown shoelaces. By day, this pair of shoes went about like all the other shoes, that is, dragging along the ground. But it so happened that this pair of shoes had hidden in its closet rose-coloured shoelaces, and at night it put them on and cut loose. And so this pair of shoes went, until one day he got tired of hiding his happiness in the closet and he put on his rose-coloured shoelaces and all the other shoes looked at him with serious disapproval and they made a circle around him with brown and black shoelaces in order to isolate him, so that he would not contaminate all the other shoes. The pair of shoes with rose- coloured shoelaces dissented, and every day he marched with a sign which said, "Respect and dignity for rose-coloured shoelaces," but the other shoes ignored him and they tied their black and brown knots even more tightly in order to leave the pair of shoes with rose-coloured shoelaces by himself and they organized a counter-protest with signs reading "An end to the disease of the rose- coloured shoelaces." And they were doing that when someone saw the pair of shoes with the rose-coloured shoelaces and they put a big ugly hat on him and the hat had pastel blue feathers and they made him a song and the pair of shoes with rose-coloured shoelaces became very famous and everyone danced to it and no one put a hat or feathers on the shoes with brown and black shoeplaces and no one made them a song, what are they going to do! Tan, tan.

P.D. A gift of memories. Today, the 8th of September, is the birthday of Deni Prieto Stock (assassinated by the government on February 14, 1974, in San Miguel Nepantla, Mexico State). We all celebrate her.

Vale again.
Be well and hopes that it stops raining in history.

The Archer Sup, leader of the Gorgonites (?)

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