Marcos: To the solidarity committees of the Zapatista struggle in all the world

March of 1997

(When the 20th Century hurries to go to sleep in the place where history, in other words, we have assigned it).

TO: The solidarity committees of the Zapatista struggle in all the world.
Planet Earth

Brothers and sisters;

Greetings and health to you. We are still here, we continue here. The night above is barely a gray reflection of the night below. For some reason, here the night below is always more night than the night above. I'm unaware whether the same thing happens in other parts or whether it is vice versa. Finally, the dawn. Perhaps because of the dark night or the "vice versa" of the reflection, the memory of the poem which Do-re-mi (or was it Mi-re-do?) recited to Alice in "The other side of the looking glass". The poem was called

"The Walrus and the Carpenter" and it begins like this:

And given that the sea with its strength and the sea with its insistence, a kind of urgent whim came upon me to write to you in order to chat, and say hello, or simple to have a pretext and attempt to build a multiple bridge, a walking octopus which arrives at the same time at the European continent as the Asian, which plants an arm on Australia and another in Africa, which rests one of its many arms on whatever American corner there is where rebellion is a banner. Here, in this fragmented piece of mirror of rebellion in the world, the March Hare awakens and stretches out among rains and suns which take turns at disordering the weather and the hours...

And speaking of hours, the hour arrives for us to sit down, together once again, those who are so similar in our differences who are us and all of you...But, well, this is not (not yet anyway) the purpose of this letter. What is it then? Well, strictly speaking, the object of this letter is he paper, the ink and the heart which dresses as one and covers itself with the other in order to extend a long bridge which can cross languages, colors, cultures, borders, armies, police and a considerable amount of kilometers by air-sea-land, which can arrive at that other heart which you (and us) carry in our left side.

And therefore, supposing that the bridge has been extended and the hearts have been found, from here goes a greeting for all of you, from the men, women, children, and elderly of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation.

From this side of the greeting and the bridge, in the national Power under which we Mexicans suffer, the hour becomes "showtime", time for the spectacle. Just like in a three ring circus, the Power in Mexico photographs itself in tragi-comedies, its corruption revealed and exposed, its demagoguery dressed in modernity, in a strident and brash supermarket of electoral political proposals. There is a lot of time for the spectacle, little time for democracy, much less for justice and nothing for liberty. The large and small trip over themselves in order to march to the rhythm marked by the Power. In the middle of the hurry to arrive, the question "Where are we going?" indefinitely postpones the solution.

Outside this time for lamentable spectacles, the time for the small ones reflects and looks inside in order to find themselves with the other small ones of Mexico and the world. great in the multiplication of hopes offered by your walk, we find within ours, in others, with you, the breath which dignity demands as nutrition, hope as direction, the patient and tender fury of he who knows that strength lies in the reason which moves it.

The dismissal of the San Andres agreements by the government has served for something positive. Now it is clear that the indigenous demands of the EZLN do not solely belong to Chiapas. They respond to the aspirations of all the Indian peoples of these lands and they reflect, with their specific particularities, the aspirations of the indigenous people of all the American continent.

A spokesperson for the Power in Mexico has said recently that the government does not need the Internet in order to demonstrate its disposition for a dialogue with the indigenous Zapatistas. It is obvious that, for the monologue which it simulates, it needs nothing...maybe only a mirror. But more than one demonstrated in the tone of the powerful bureaucrat a sensation of frustration and rancor due to the ruckus which circulated in cyberspace. Letters and manifestos, directed to who is supposed to be the president of Mexico, molest the government because one and the others demand the same; that the government of Mexico keep its word given in the dialogue of San Andres. Some of those letters reached the Mexican press, the majority do not. With an apparent national indifference they try to cover up the international restlessness with a government incapable of a political solution to a situation which it provokes with a military argument. The demands to comply with the agreements are received by the government, they arrive from all over the world. The government does not listen, or it appears not to listen. And if you could see, over here the Supreme only have ears for praise and gratitude...and of course, the orders of the financial Power.

This bothers the Mexican government. Not only those protests and demands in the Internet but the mobilizations in front of the embassies and consulates all over the world.


And since we are chatting, let me relate something which, well understood is only a timid homage to the efforts all of you make to help us and not to forget us again.

Over here they tell a story of the local agent of foreign sales (the real occupation of the self-named Mexican "Secretary of exterior relations") who prepared himself conscientiously on the eve of a visit to the exterior, to explain the problems of corruption, drug trafficking and elections in Mexico, and in order to pacify the so-called investors with great political and military plans of control, and of course, appetizing merchandise. But this was not much use to him because, after the "brilliant" speech of the traveling salesmen, the foreign spokesperson weighed him down with questions about the negotiation with the EZLN and the reasons why they remain suspended. The Mexican bureaucrat pulled out a map of Mexico in order to show the foreigner how the EZLN was only a tiny problem in a tiny corner of the tiny Mexican southeast, and that it was perfectly besieged and controlled by the powerful military forces of the federal government. As a response, the foreigner showed him a pile of papers with cyberspace messages and clippings of newspapers which told of the mobilizations in front of embassies and consulates in various parts of the world. The Mexican (who aspires to become a citizen of money) argued that subversion has many ramifications in the world, and that the attempts to destabilize would fail, that a few "HACKERS" (I think that's what they call cyberspace pirates) did not have a reason to impact the solid commercial exchange which the bountiful Mexican State etceteras...

The foreigner interrupted him and made it clear;" These mobilizations are not about subversion and the messages are not promoted instability. They are simply asking that the Mexican government keep its word. Whether they are a few, well, millions all over the world use the Internet and the mobilizations in Europe and the United States include dozens of thousands. They all say the same thing; keep you word".

There was a small respite and the foreigner added: "Tell me something in confidence, why don't you comply with what you signed? If the Mexican government is afraid of being fragmented, it should look at the example of other countries which recognized and legislated autonomies and did not fall apart. On the contrary, those who did not do this have broken up into many pieces. But, in any case, why did you sign something which you are not willing to fulfill? Are we to believe as well that the agreements signed with us will not be kept? No sir, is Gurria your name? No, there is more. Now tell me, what is the Mexican government afraid of?"

The businessman disguised as a Mexican bureaucrat shook, as did his foreign counterpart when he answered "Tomorrow..."


"Bah! It's useless to speak of awakening him--said Do-re-mi--since, you are one of the things in his dreams. You know perfectly well that you are not real.

"I am real!" said Alice, and she began to cry.

Lewis Carroll, "The Other Side of the Looking Glass"

From this side of the bridge and the greeting, the medium and small struggles (the large ones are neither here nor there) demand of you your forces and attention. The Power rehearses magic acts and tricks, noises of all kind and origin, so that you will not look far. Nevertheless, you have taken the time and ingenuity to extend your support and your sympathy which refreshes us. While the Power has done all within its power to erase us from the map of actual history, you have taken the word and the streets (the asphalt ones and the media ones) in order to remind us, and in passing the Mexican government, that we are not alone.

We know little of your struggles. The bridge your generosity has extended to us in order to hear the world of the indigenous Zapatistas has only begun its return flight. With surprise and admiration we begin to recognize your collective histories of rebellion and resistance, your struggles against racism, against patriarchy, against religious intolerance, against xenophobia, against militarization, against ecological destruction, against fascism, against segregation, against moral hypocrisy, against exclusion, against the war, against hunger, against the lack of housing, against great capital, against authoritarianism, against dictatorship, against the politics of economic liberalization, against poverty, against robbery, against corruption, against discrimination, against stupidity , against the lie, against ignorance, against slavery, against injustice, against oblivion, against neoliberalism, for humanity...

And for humanity and against neoliberalism is what announces the new encounter of rebellions and resistance which appear this year. Then and there, we will have learned more from you and from all the pieces, disperse as yet, of the crystal which dignity preserves even within the best men and women of humanity.

So here, taking advantage of the trip, we want to send our thanks for turning to look at us and for the hand which you extend to us so we will not fall once again into oblivion. Some time ago we sent you a flower. Today we send you a little cloud of rain from here, so that you may water that flower, as you should, by dancing.

Vale. Health and may the joy of rebellion continue to fill the streets of all the continents.

From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast,
Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos
Mexico, March of 1997

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