September 8, 1996
To the People of Mexico
To the Peoples and governments of the world
The Zapatista Army of National Liberation informs about the last events in the so called "conflict zone".
First, The Federal garrisons located in La Garucha, Patiwitz, La Sultana, Guadalupe Trinitaria, Laguna Santa Elena and Las Tacitas have initiated their advance towards the mountain positions of the EZLN. The government troops seek to clash with our forces and justify, in this matter, the military offensive. Even up to five times, the 3,4 and 5th of this present month, our advanced positions have made visual contact with the federal columns when these have entered, without knowing, into paths prepared for defensive ambush.
Second, The zapatista troops maintain their mountain positions and the order of not taking any offensive action, but they also have the order to defend themselves if they are attacked by the government forces. There will be no withdrawal of troops. We are ready to fight in the mountains.
Third, The supreme government seeks to deceive public opinion pretending that they will satisfy the demands of the EZLN to proceed with the Dialogue. The only thing that the government does is to drain civil society at national and international level, and gain time to launch their offensive while it appears to be looking at negotiated solutions to the San Andres Dialogue.
Fourth, The EZLN reiterates that they will not dialogue while the government does not show signs that it will assume the San Andres Dialogue with seriousness, respect and commitment to give solutions to the root of our just struggle.
From the mountains of the Mexican southeast Clandestine Revolutionary Indigenous Committe-General Command of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation Mexico, September 1996
Published by La Jornada and Translated by: Susana Saravia Anibarro- Certified Legal and Court Interpreter by the Office of the Administration of the Courts in Washington State, @LIST0B74.PML for NUEVO AMANECER PRESS. September 10,1996.