We put this book together because we believe that the Zapatistas should be heard in their own words. In their hurry to analyze the Zapatistas many have ignored the analyses that the Zapatistas themselves have developed through years of struggle. As far as we know, this book is the largest collection of their communique's, letters, and interviews in any language anywhere in the world. We think that people wishing to understand the Zapatistas should listen to them.

This book was produced through the donated labor of a large number of people around the US and Mexico working in solidarity with the EZLN. All of the people who worked on this book believe in the justice of the EZLN's demands and the legitimacy of their struggle. The efforts that helped to make this project a reality are greatly appreciated.

Not everyone has the time or the desire to read every word of a 350-page book. If you aren't going to read all of the material here, you can get a fairly good idea about who the Zapatistas are by reading:

The Introduction, The Southeast in Two Winds, El Despertador Mexicano, Responses to Government Lies, What Are They Going to Forgive Us For?, On Misunderstandings about the EZLN and the Real First Uprising, Interview with Major Ana Mari'a, On the Outcome of the Dialogue, Professionals in Hope, We Are Surrounded, To the Workers of the Republic, Interview with Subcommander Marcos (Chapter 11), Second Declaration from the Lacandona Jungle, and the Responses to the Peace Accord Proposal.


Eugenio Aguilera, Peter B., Elizabeth Bright, Paul Coltrin, Shelly Feiner, Robin Flinchum, Christine Halvorson, Huasipungo, Selene Pinti Jaramillo, Susan Marsh, Matt Miscreant, Javier Ortega, Michael Pearlman, Barbara Pillsbury, Todd Prane, Leopoldo Rodri'guez, Pablo Salazar Devereaux, The Subaltern Studies Collective of the University of Maryland, Ruth Warner

The Copyediting and Proofing Army:

Matt Black, Elizabeth Bright, Sara Brodzinsky, Mitchel Cohen, Dema Crassy, Christine Halvorson, Bazooka Joe, Tommy Lawless, Todd, Rachel Rinaldo, Joshua Schwartz, Michael Ulrich, Bill Weinberg

Book and Cover Design:

Matt Black, Jim Fleming, Joshua Schwartz, and the Editorial Collective


Joshua Schwartz

The Editorial Collective:

This book project was conceived of and coordinated by the Editorial Collective. We are Zapatista solidarity activists, revolutionaries, workers, dreamers. We work for wages and we also work for ourselves. We pay too much rent and don't get enough sleep. We are inspired by the vision of the Zapatistas because we, too, dream of a better world.

Dema, Eugenio, Matt B., Matt M., Pablo, Sara, Todd

Nothing for themselves, so that we would have everything:

Sara and Todd

A note on translation:

We have done our best to create a book that is both easy to read for English speakers and true to the original Spanish. There are several language and translation issues that make this difficult. This book was translated by a large number of volunteers. This effort made the publication of this book possible, but it made consistency in the translations difficult. We think that it is important that the same words be translated in the same way each time, and all of the translations have been checked thoroughly for consistency. Another difficulty in translation was the original Spanish. Most of the Zapatistas are not native Spanish speakers. Their Spanish is sometimes awkward, and the concepts that they use are not always clearly expressed in Spanish, and are even harder to translate into English. Readers should be aware that there are many possible translations for some words, and should keep this in mind as they read the text.

A note on sources:

We have tried to authenticate all the materials in this book. We have been able to trace nearly all the materials to their first publication, either by the EZLN or by the media. We have included the original sources when we were able. Many materials came from the book La palabra de los armados de verdad y fuego, a documentary anthology of the EZLN published in Mexico.

We hope that this book is a useful resource.

Hope lives in our heart,

The Editorial Collective