Letter from Zapatista prisoners

La Jornada, Feb. 19, 1995

To the people of Mexico
To the CND
To the ONGs
To the national and international press
To all the men and women who struggle constantly to rescue democracy, justice and liberty

Brothers and sisters:

We are the men and women who one day appeared without face in Southeastern Mexico to make ourselves heard and to demand that which is ours, with the cries of:
"Enough! We will not give up...We resist! and ..
the motherland lives and it is ours. With the cries from people who tremble with the most profound sentiments, and who began to dust off the dignity which appeared to no longer have a place in these lands, called--still-- Mexico. We now speak to you from behind bars, which have for the moment detained our moving around without face and in silence, but they have not been able to stop the free flight of our thoughts: our heart continues to be free.

Brothers and sisters:

The new school that we are learning in, from the jailing and torture and the great support we feel from you all, in this unequalled civic participation of hundreds, of thousands of companeros who expose themselves to those who are issuing arrest orders, moves us to direct a few and entangled words:

Some months ago it appeared that the civic society was going to take over the reins of the country, like when the dialogue took place, or when the indefinite truce was decreed, as well as other transcendental actions. But now again we have to face the truth before the impositions and authoritarianism of the State. Now that the President and the Secretary of State have put the opinion of the most needy, of the most conscious, aside; now that they have put aside the principal actor of the country and have shattered the popular will; now that they have turned a deaf ear to the demands of the civil society, and have again begun to make a mockery of us.

It would appear that Zedillo only is interested in staying in good with the eternal loves of the north; it would appear that Zedillo and company are not interested in the people's blood that is being spilled. They are not interested in seeing that the people are demanding what is the obligation of the President to authorize. It would appear that Zedillo and company are only interested in complying with the conditions SuperClinton imposes on them.

Zedillo and company declared war openly on the EZLN, and the words became actions: the Mexican Army (the Zapatista also is Mexican, although around here they give it strange names) went into the Zapatista communities, pressuring and intimidating the people, obligating them to say where Guillen is or is it Vicente? Along with starting a witch hunt, the size of which has not been seen in the history of Mexico since the 60's and 70s, which many of you remember.

The federal government has demonstrated that its decisions are never going to respond to popular will and that to the contrary they are always going to go directly against the needs of the people: the people say no to war, and the President declares war; the people ask for tranquility and the Attorney General initiates a genocidal persecution in all parts where they suspect that the residents are Zapatistas.

The president and company has demonstrated that its decisions are accompanied by the dark and dirty hand of the great national capital (remember the 24 richest of the rich of Mexico) and of the foreign capital ( remember that at the end of January and beginning of February, our Saviour Superbill came to us with a packet of more than $50 billion).

The President has demonstrated, and the most representative example of the fossils of the PRI, don Fidelo, that the workers do not have any right to an opinion, not even to eat well. Well they can still give a day to finance the soldiers of the Mexican Army and the Attorney General. Oh, excuse me, we wanted to say to help pay for the foreign debt.

It doen't matter that the empty wallets have been empty for a long time; there will always be a good patient investor (waiting for the Chiapas issue to end) who makes the problem of empty wallets his problem, and turns everything to his old/new direction (you can interpret this as returning to the time of Perfidio, i.e. Salinas).

In summary, the President is in a hurry to end as soon as possible the problem of the Zapatista Army and the civic society, because the petroleum has to be flowing in the pipelines from Chiapas-Tabasco-Veracruz-Tamaulipas-United States.

For this reason, for the President it is urgent that the most "dangerous" delinquents --watch out: for the system--are behind bars and not able to make any more problems for the gentlemen who come from the north.

For this reason the witch hunt and the almost obscene persecution of one Guillen, as if they were hunting rabbits, which is what they are doing by hunting indigenous with dogs.

Brothers and sisters: Now we have felt the torture, as many of you have felt in your epoch, but we again return to feel how the people have become a river that has burst its banks, and that can not be detained even by the genocidal weapons of the bad government.

From the cold cells we invite you not to desist: continue moving, make the people rise up and demand what is theirs from the neighborhoods and barrios, the factories, the cornfields, the schools, the hospitals and wherever the people have a redoubt or a trench for the struggle. Continue forward companeros. We are counting on and trust in you.

Democracy, justice, liberty. From the cells of the North Solitary Confinement cells, February 1995


Political Prisoners

P.S. We are waiting for you with cigarrettes and a lighter. Until Veracruz? Accept a greeting from a teacher with bad spelling.

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