[News] Fox on Marcos:'I Await His Orders' + declaration

News at freedomarchives.org News at freedomarchives.org
Wed Jun 29 11:59:24 EDT 2005

Date: Wed, 29 Jun 2005 14:21:42 +0200

Mexico's Fox on Zapatista Marcos: "I Await His Orders"

By Al Giordano,
Posted on Tue Jun 28th, 2005 at 12:02:23 PM EST

Well, here's a novel way to boost sagging popularity in the polls for
Vicente Fox: When the guerrilla organization that your government has
persecuted for your entire term announces - as the Zapatista Army of
National Liberation (EZLN, in its Spanish initials) said in a new communique'
this weekend - that it has just decided to expand its cause nationwide,
Fox's first instinct is to grope for a photo op with the rebels!
The Mexican president, today in the neighboring country of Belize, alongside
that country's President Said Musa, responded to reporters' questions about
the possible entrance by the Zapatistas into more above-ground political
action (not necessarily electoral, please, nobody jump to conclusions). Fox
said specifically about Zapatista Subcomandante Marcos:

"I await his orders to work toward that integration."
More after the jump...

The Zapatistas announced that, with their bases ("100 percent indigenous"
and "100 percent Mexican") having voted in assemblies throughout their
territory and approved the new course of action with 98 percent support:

"...the EZLN shall undertake a new political initiative that is national and
international in nature."
And they added:

"In order to report on what was analyzed and discussed in the internal
consulta - in addition to explaining and calling for joining in with the new
initiative which has been approved - the CCRI-CG of the EZLN will, over the
next few days, make public a series of texts which are part of the 'Sixth
Declaration of the Selva Lacandona.'"
Fox, seeming to jump to the conclusion that "Mr. Marcos" now wants a
political party or some such thing that probably is not very likely, added:

"Not only do I welcome them! I invite Mr. Marcos that, together, we arm a
stage of integration into political life and the integration of agreements
that benefit the (indigenous) communities."
As difficult as it is to predict what the Zapatistas and "Mr. Marcos" will
do when they announce the details of their plans shortly, I'd bet they are
not going to make it so easy for Fox to point to the developments as a
personal success or triumph of his policies.

For example, some good friends of Narco News (and participants in our School
of Authentic Journalism) from Bolivia's social movements were recently in
Chiapas conversing quietly with Zapatista leaders, comparing notes on their
respective struggles, strategies and tactics.

Fox may thus, similarly, wish to compare notes with his Bolivian counterpart
Gonzalo "Goni" Sanchez de Lozada...

Oops, I mean Carlos Mesa...

Oops, I mean Hormando Vaca Diez...

Oops, I mean Mario Cossio...

Oh, right, it's now President Eduardo Rodri'guez, at least he still was still
president of Bolivia as of a few minutes ago...


Originally published in Spanish by the Zapatista Army of National Liberation
Translated by irlandesa

Zapatista Army of National Liberation.

Sixth Declaration of the Selva Lacandona

This is our simple word which seeks to touch the hearts of humble and simple
people like ourselves, but people who are also, like ourselves, dignified and
rebel.  This is our simple word for recounting what our path has been and
where we are now, in order to explain how we see the world and our country, in
order to say what we are thinking of doing and how we are thinking of doing it,
and in order to invite other persons to walk with us in something very great
which is called Mexico and something greater which is called the 
world.  This is
our simple word in order to inform all honest and noble hearts what it is we
want in Mexico and the world.  This is our simple word, because it is our idea
to call on those who are like us and to join together with them, everywhere
they are living and struggling.

I -  What We Are

We are the zapatistas of the EZLN, although we are also called
"neo-zapatistas."  Now, we, the zapatistas of the EZLN, rose up in arms in 
January of 1994
because we saw how widespread had become the evil wrought by the powerful who
only humiliated us, stole from us, imprisoned us and killed us, and no one was
saying anything or doing anything.  That is why we said "Ya Basta!," that no
longer were we going to allow them to make us inferior or to treat us worse
than animals.  And then we also said we wanted democracy, liberty and 
justice for
all Mexicans although we were concentrated on the Indian peoples.  Because it
so happened that we, the EZLN, were almost all only indigenous from here in
Chiapas, but we did not want to struggle just for own good, or just for the
good of the indigenous of Chiapas, or just for the good of the Indian 
peoples of
Mexico.  We wanted to fight along with everyone who was humble and simple like
ourselves and who was in great need and who suffered from exploitation and
thievery by the rich and their bad governments here, in our Mexico, and in 
countries in the world.

And then our small history was that we grew tired of exploitation by the
powerful, and then we organized in order to defend ourselves and to fight for
justice.  In the beginning there were not many of us, just a few, going 
this way
and that, talking with and listening to other people like us.  We did that for
many years, and we did it in secret, without making a stir.  In other words,
we joined forces in silence.  We remained like that for about 10 years, and
then we had grown, and then we were many thousands.  We trained ourselves quite
well in politics and weapons, and, suddenly, when the rich were throwing their
New Year's Eve parties, we fell upon their cities and just took them over.
And we left a message to everyone that here we are, that they have to take
notice of us.  And then the rich took off and sent their great armies to do 
with us, just like they always do when the exploited rebel - they order 
them all
to be done away with.  But we were not done away with at all, because we had
prepared ourselves quite well prior to the war, and we made ourselves strong
in our mountains.  And there were the armies, looking for us and throwing their
bombs and bullets at us, and then they were making plans to kill off all the
indigenous at one time, because they did not know who was a zapatista and who
was not.  And we were running and fighting, fighting and running, just like
our ancestors had done.  Without giving up, without surrendering, without being

And then the people from the cities went out into the streets and began s
houting for an end to the war.  And then we stopped our war, and we listened to
those brothers and sisters from the city who were telling us to try to reach an
arrangement or an accord with the bad governments, so that the problem could
be resolved without a massacre.  And so we paid attention to them, because they
were what we call "the people," or the Mexican people.  And so we set aside
the fire and took up the word.

And it so happened that the governments said they would indeed be
well-behaved, and they would engage in dialogue, and they would make 
accords, and they
would fulfill them.  And we said that was good, but we also thought it was good
that we knew those people who went out into the streets in order to stop the
war.  Then, while we were engaging in dialogue with the bad governments, we
were also talking with those persons, and we saw that most of them were humble
and simple people like us, and both, they and we, understood quite well why we
were fighting.  And we called those people "civil society" because most of them
did not belong to political parties, rather they were common, everyday
people, like us, simple and humble people.

But it so happened that the bad governments did not want a good agreement,
rather it was just their underhanded way of saying they were going to talk and
to reach accords, while they were preparing their attacks in order to eliminate
us once and for all.  And so then they attacked us several times, but they
did not defeat us, because we resisted quite well, and many people throughout
the world mobilized.  And then the bad governments thought that the problem was
that many people saw what was happening with the EZLN, and they started their
plan of acting as if nothing were going on.  Meanwhile they were quick to
surround us, they laid siege to us in hopes that, since our mountains are 
remote, the people would then forget, since zapatista lands were so far away.
And every so often the bad governments tested us and tried to deceive us or to
attack us, like in February of 1995 when they threw a huge number of armies
at us, but they did not defeat us.  Because, as they said then, we were not
alone, and many people helped us, and we resisted well.

And then the bad governments had to make accords with the EZLN, and those
accords were called the "San Andre's Accords" because the municipality 
where those
accords were signed was called "San Andre's."  And we were not all alone in
those dialogues, speaking with people from the bad governments.  We invited 
people and organizations who were, or are, engaged in the struggle for the
Indian peoples of Mexico, and everyone spoke their word, and everyone reached
agreement as to how we were going to speak with the bad governments.  And that
is how that dialogue was, not just the zapatistas on one side and the
governments on the other.  Instead, the Indian peoples of Mexico, and those who
supported them, were with the zapatistas.  And then the bad governments 
said in those
accords that they were indeed going to recognize the rights of the Indian
peoples of Mexico, and they were going to respect their culture, and they were
going to make everything law in the Constitution.  But then, once they had
signed, the bad governments acted as if they had forgotten about them, and many
years passed, and the accords were not fulfilled at all.  Quite the 
opposite, the
government attacked the indigenous, in order to make them back out of the
struggle, as they did on December 22, 1997, the date on which Zedillo 
ordered the
killing of 45 men, women, old ones and children in the town in Chiapas called
ACTEAL.  This immense crime was not so easily forgotten, and it was a
demonstration of how the bad governments color their hearts in order to 
attack and
assassinate those who rebel against injustices.  And, while all of that was
going on, we zapatistas were putting our all into the fulfillment of the 
and resisting in the mountains of the Mexican southeast.

And then we began speaking with other Indian peoples of Mexico and their
organizations, and we made an agreement with them that we were going to 
together for the same thing, for the recognition of indigenous rights and
culture.  Now we were also being helped by many people from all over the 
world and
by persons who were well respected and whose word was quite great because they
were great intellectuals, artists and scientists from Mexico and from all
over the world.  And we also held international encuentros.  In other words, we
joined together to talk with persons from America and from Asia and from Europe
and from Africa and from Oceania, and we learned of their struggles and their
ways, and we said they were "intergalactic" encuentros, just to be silly and
because we had also invited those from other planets, but it appeared as if
they had not come, or perhaps they did come, but they did not make it clear.

But the bad governments did not keep their word anyway, and then we made a
plan to talk with many Mexicans so they would help us.  And then, first in 
we held a march to Mexico City which was called "of the 1,111" because a
compa~ero or compa~era was going to go from each zapatista town, but the bad
government did not pay any attention.  And then, in 1999, we held a consulta
throughout the country, and there it was seen that the majority were indeed in
agreement with the demands of the Indian peoples, but again the bad 
governments did
not pay any attention.  And then, lastly, in 2001, we held what was called
the "march for indigenous dignity" which had much support from millions of
Mexicans and people from other countries, and it went to where the deputies and
senators were, the Congress of the Union, in order to demand the recognition of
the Mexican indigenous.

But it happened that no, the politicians from the PRI, the PAN and the PRD
reached an agreement among themselves, and they simply did not recognize
indigenous rights and culture.  That was in April of 2001, and the politicians
demonstrated quite clearly there that they had no decency whatsoever, and 
they were
swine who thought only about making their good money as the bad politicians
they were.  This must be remembered, because you will now be seeing that they
are going to say they will indeed recognize indigenous rights, but it is a lie
they are telling so we will vote for them.  But they already had their chance,
and they did not keep their word.

And then we saw quite clearly that there was no point to dialogue and
negotiation with the bad governments of Mexico.  That it was a waste of 
time for us
to be talking with the politicians, because neither their hearts nor their
words were honest.  They were crooked, and they told lies that they would keep
their word, but they did not.  In other words, on that day, when the 
from the PRI, PAN and PRD approved a law that was no good, they killed
dialogue once and for all, and they clearly stated that it did not matter 
what they
had agreed to and signed, because they did not keep their word.  And then we
did not make any contacts with the federal branches. Because we understood that
dialogue and negotiation had failed as a result of those political parties.
We saw that blood did not matter to them, nor did death, suffering,
mobilizations, consultas, efforts, national and international statements, 
accords, signatures, commitments.  And so the political class not only closed,
one more time, the door to the Indian peoples, they also delivered a mortal 
to the peaceful resolution - through dialogue and negotiation - of the war.
It can also no longer be believed that the accords will be fulfilled by
someone who comes along with something or other.  They should see that 
there so that
they can learn from experience what happened to us.

And then we saw all of that, and we wondered in our hearts what we were going
to do.

And the first thing we saw was that our heart was not the same as before,
when we began our struggle.  It was larger, because now we had touched the 
of many good people.  And we also saw that our heart was more hurt, it was
more wounded.  And it was not wounded by the deceits of the bad 
governments, but
because, when we touched the hearts of others, we also touched their sorrows.
  It was as if we were seeing ourselves in a mirror.

II. -  Where We Are Now

Then, like the zapatistas we are, we thought that it was not enough to stop
engaging in dialogue with the government, but it was necessary to continue on
ahead in the struggle, in spite of those lazy parasites of politicians.  The
EZLN then decided to carry out, alone and on their side ("unilateral", in other
words, because just one side), the San Andre's Accords regarding indigenous
rights and culture.  For 4 years, since the middle of 2001 until the middle of
2005, we have devoted ourselves to this and to other things which we are going
to tell you about.

Fine, we then began encouraging the autonomous rebel zapatista municipalities
- which is how the peoples are organized in order to govern and to govern
themselves - in order to make themselves stronger.  This method of autonomous
government was not simply invented by the EZLN, but rather it comes from 
centuries of indigenous resistance and from the zapatistas' own experience.
It is the self-governance of the communities.  In other words, no one from
outside comes to govern, but the peoples themselves decide, among 
themselves, who
governs and how, and, if they do not obey, they are removed.  If the one who
governs does not obey the people, they pursue them, they are removed from
authority, and another comes in.

But then we saw that the Autonomous Municipalities were not level.  There
were some that were more advanced and which had more support from civil 
and others were more neglected.  The organization was lacking to make them
more on a par with each other.  And we also saw that the EZLN, with its
political-military component, was involving itself in decisions which 
belonged to the
democratic authorities, "civilians" as they say.  And here the problem is that
the political-military component of the EZLN is not democratic, because it is
an army.  And we saw that the military being above, and the democratic below,
was not good, because what is democratic should not be decided militarily, it
should be the reverse:  the democratic-political governing above, and the
military obeying below.  Or, perhaps, it would be better with nothing 
below, just
completely level, without any military, and that is why the zapatistas are
soldiers so that there will not be any soldiers.  Fine, what we then did about
this problem was to begin separating the political-military from the autonomous
and democratic aspects of organization in the zapatista communities.  And so,
actions and decisions which had previously been made and taken by the EZLN
were being passed, little by little, to the democratically elected 
authorities in
the villages.  It is easy to say, of course, but it was very difficult in
practice, because many years have passed - first in the preparation for the war
and then the war itself - and the political-military aspects have become
customary.  But, regardless, we did so because it is our way to do what we say,
because, if not, why should we go around saying things if we do not then do 

That was how the Good Government Juntas were born, in August of 2003, and,
through them, self-learning and the exercise of "govern obeying" has continued.

 >From that time and until the middle of 2005, the EZLN leadership has no
longer involved itself in giving orders in civil matters, but it has 
and helped the authorities who are democratically elected by the peoples.  It
has also kept watch that the peoples and national and international civil
society are kept well informed concerning the aid that is received and how 
it is
used.  And now we are passing the work of safeguarding good government to the
zapatista support bases, with temporary positions which are rotated, so that
everyone learns and carries out this work.  Because we believe that a 
people which
does not watch over its leaders is condemned to be enslaved, and we fought to
be free, not to change masters every six years.

The EZLN, during these 4 years, also handed over to the Good Government
Juntas and the Autonomous Municipalities the aid and contacts which they had
attained throughout Mexico and the world during these years of war and 
The EZLN had also, during that time, been building economic and political
support which allowed the zapatista communities to make progress with fewer
difficulties in the building of their autonomy and in improving their living
conditions.  It is not much, but it is far better than what they had prior 
to the
beginning of the uprising in January of 1994.  If you look at one of those
studies the governments make, you will see that the only indigenous communities
which have improved their living conditions - whether in health, education, 
or housing - were those which are in zapatista territory, which is what we call
where our villages are.  And all of that has been possible because of the
progress made by the zapatista villages and because of the very large support
which has been received from good and noble persons, whom we call "civil
societies," and from their organizations throughout the world.  As if all 
of these
people have made "another world is possible" a reality, but through 
actions, not
just words.

And the villages have made good progress.  Now there are more compa~eros and
compa~eras who are learning to govern.  And - even though little by little -
there are more women going into this work, but there is still a lack of respect
for the compa~eras, and they need to participate more in the work of the
struggle.  And, also through the Good Government Juntas, coordination has been
improved between the Autonomous Municipalities and the resolution of problems
with other organizations and with the official authorities.  There has also 
much improvement in the projects in the communities, and the distribution of
projects and aid given by civil society from all over the world has become more
level.  Health and education have improved, although there is still a good
deal lacking for it to be what it should be.  The same is true for housing and
food, and in some areas there has been much improvement with the problem of
land, because the lands recovered from the finqueros are being 
distributed.  But
there are areas which continue to suffer from a lack of lands to cultivate.
And there has been great improvement in the support from national and
international civil society, because previously everyone went wherever they 
wanted, and
now the Good Government Juntas are directing them to where the greatest need
exists.  And, similarly, everywhere there are more compa~eros and compa~eras
who are learning to relate to persons from other parts of Mexico and of the
world,.  They are learning to respect and to demand respect.  They are learning
that there are many worlds, and that everyone has their place, their time and
their way, and therefore there must be mutual respect between everyone.

We, the zapatistas of the EZLN, have devoted this time to our primary force,
to the peoples who support us.  And the situation has indeed improved some.
No one can say that the zapatista organization and struggle has been without
point, but rather, even if they were to do away with us completely, our 
has indeed been of some use.

But it is not just the zapatista villages which have grown - the EZLN has
also grown.  Because what has happened during this time is that new generations
have renewed our entire organization.  They have added new strength.  The
comandantes and comandantas who were in their maturity at the beginning of the
uprising in 1994 now have the wisdom they gained in the war and in the 12 
years of
dialogue with thousands of men and women from throughout the world.  The
members of the CCRI, the zapatista political-organizational leadership, is now
counseling and directing the new ones who are entering our struggle, as well as
those who are holding leadership positions.  For some time now the "committees"
(which is what we call them) have been preparing an entire new generation of
comandantes and comandantas who, following a period of instruction and
testing, are beginning to learn the work of organizational leadership and to
discharge their duties.  And it also so happens that our insurgents, 
militants, local and regional responsables, as well as support bases, who were
youngsters at the beginning of the uprising, are now mature men and women, 
veterans and natural leaders in their units and communities.  And those who
were children in that January of '94 are now young people who have grown up in
the resistance, and they have been trained in the rebel dignity lifted up by
their elders throughout these 12 years of war.  These young people have a
political, technical and cultural training that we who began the zapatista 
did not have.  This youth is now, more and more, sustaining our troops as
well as leadership positions in the organization.  And, indeed, all of us have
seen the deceits by the Mexican political class and the destruction which their
actions have caused in our patria.  And we have seen the great injustices and
massacres that neoliberal globalization causes throughout the world.  But we
will speak to you of that later.

And so the EZLN has resisted 12 years of war, of military, political,
ideological and economic attacks, of siege, of harassment, of persecution, 
and they
have not vanquished us.  We have not sold out nor surrendered, and we have made
progress.  More compa~eros from many places have entered into the struggle so
that, instead of making us weaker after so many years, we have become
stronger.  Of course there are problems which can be resolved by more 
separation of
the political-military from the civil-democratic.  But there are things, the
most important ones, such as our demands for which we struggle, which have not
been fully achieved.

To our way of thinking, and what we see in our heart, we have reached a point
where we cannot go any further, and, in addition, it is possible that we
could lose everything we have if we remain as we are and do nothing more in 
to move forward.  The hour has come to take a risk once again and to take a
step which is dangerous but which is worthwhile.  Because, perhaps united with
other social sectors who suffer from the same wants as we do, it will be
possible to achieve what we need and what we deserve.  A new step forward 
in the
indigenous struggle is only possible if the indigenous join together with
workers, campesinos, students, teachers, employees...the workers of the 
city and the

(To be continued...)

 >From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast.

Clandestine Revolutionary Indigenous Committee - General Command of the
Zapatista Army of National Liberation.

Mexico, in the sixth month of the year 2005.

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