Chapter 10: Returning to the Communities

[These communique's and interviews are from the period during which the Zaptistas brought the peace accord proposals to the communites to be discussed.]

The EZLN Denies That the Prisoners
in Cerro Hueco are Combatants

[La Jornada]
April 7, 1994

To the national and international press:

The Clandestine Revolutionary Indigenous Committee-General Command of the EZLN declares the following:

First: In recent days we have learned that 21 civilians are prisoners in the Cerro Hueco jail, under the unjust accusation of being part of our Zapatista National Liberation Army.

Second: The CCRI-CG of the EZLN declares that, since the liberation of the imprisoned combatants in the state of Chihuahua, it has no known combatants in the jails of the evil government.

Third: The General Command of the EZLN has conscientiously checked the lists of combatants, and the names of those unjustly imprisoned in the jail in Cerro Hueco do not appear on them.

Fourth: The CCRI-CG of the EZLN denounces the evil government for trying to cover its arbitrariness in the indiscriminate detention of civilians during the conflict by accusing them, without any basis, of belonging to our glorious Army.

Fifth: Keeping these innocents in jail is one of the obstacles to the process of continuing the dialogue, since the EZLN cannot speak of peace if the government speaks of war through the mouth of its actions.


From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast,

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

Mexico, April 1994.

Interview with Marcos

[La Jornada, 4/10]
David Aponte, on assignment, Lacandona Jungle.

"The Zapatista National Liberation Army believes that the military-political conditions for resuming our internal consultation on the government's compromise for a dignified peace in Chiapas and the dialogue, with Commissioner Manuel Camacho Solís, do not exist," declared Insurgent Subcommander Marcos today.

In order to reactivate dialogue, the Clandestine Revolutionary Indigenous Committee-General Command of the EZLN requires that the Mexican Army "loosen" their presence in the region, and that the ranchers and farmers "lower" their attitude of belligerence.

The military strategist of the EZLN also assured us that the Zapatistas have not received any communication from Manuel Camacho Solís--neither confidential nor public--as the ex-chancellor [Camacho Solís] confirmed.

In an interview with three reporters in a clearing of the Lacandona Jungle, the subcommander made several commentaries about the public reappearance of Camacho Solís and his points of view on the peace process.

In the beginning, Marcos believed that the political-military conditions to restart the dialogue are not now present. There exist new Mexican Army troop movements towards other zones of the region, he argued.

M: What they did was take it out of the press route. They did the retreat on the side that the press covers--which is Tuxtla Gutie'rrez, San Cristóbal de las Casas, Ocosingo, Altamirano and Las Margaritas--and they went around Arriaga, for one part, and by Villahermosa and Tenosique, for the other. Five days ago approximately 30 large trucks of 8 and 12 tons came down from Tenosique, with approximately 1,000, 1,200 soldiers, on the border highway.

Q: Do you believe that the troop movements are for relief, or that they are increasing their troops?

M: Within the relief. What they do is relocate the parachutists and minesweepers, they take them on a circle through the press, and they put them in the back. The parachutists are rangers, counter-guerrillas. And in military terms, that means to put the minesweepers and the parachutists there, and the functioning of the hammer and the anvil are reversed. Now [the hammer] will be on the border and the anvil here.

I think that here they play a lot, and the play is to get into the stream bed (the Lacandona Jungle), dominate the highways, and put the anvil there. I don't think that they will risk putting the anvil in Ocosingo, Altamirano, and Las Margaritas, because it would be noticed, and they don't want it to be noticed.

Q: What is their plan then? Are they contemplating an offensive?

M: Of isolation, of taking the guerrillas out of the social discourse, that we stop declaring, that we stop doing what we are doing now. Take us out of this stream bed. But the movement of troops here will have to be very fast for us to leave. What was once planned on this side is to put the minesweepers and the parachutists, who are the Green Berets, to deactivate the mines. They are counterinsurgency units that enter to clash and locate you.

The units that they use are 12 to 15 people. We are talking about around 5,000 soldiers, a division. One air-transported division now following the gringo model for a rapid intervention.

Then initially they move in this line--Ocosingo, Altamirano, Las Margaritas. In the landing strips here, the restored one at Altamirano, and the one of Las Margaritas, they took out the commercial flights and set up a barracks and they launch it and start to push us over there (the border with Guatemala) and there is the anvil. In this case it will be the Kaibiles [elite unit of the Guatemalan Army]. If the Mexican Army loosens there then we would face the Kaibiles. Then the Kaibiles make the anvil.

In that sense they would publish in the newspapers that the soldiers had left and the journalists would see them pass through San Cristóbal de las Casas, but they turn around and make a change of troops.

Q: Does the government have a double politic? Camacho spoke of coordinating the interests of peace, an allusion to the ranchers.

M: Yes, I think that he was going to try to incorporate the ranchers into some part of the dialogue because they had already proposed it to him, that they wanted to speak with us. And since they know that we have not yet invaded the farms, maybe they could take advantage of that--make an arrangement and resolve the problem of the ranches, because there was a war tax, and negotiate in some way the possessing of the land.

The Army publicly maintains that they are loosening their military position, but actually they are simply moving troops around--not increasing their troops but simply changing their placement and composition. This is the last report that came to me yesterday [Friday, April 7].

Q: I don't understand. What does the government want: to continue the dialogue or prepare for a definitive offensive?

M: No, they want to continue the consultations; the consultations are now suspended. What they want to know is what the people will say, and maintain the military position depending of the result of the consultations: loosen the military pressure to go on to the negotiation.

Q: You don't know whether they will continue if the conditions are appropriate?

M: No, definitely not under these conditions. It seemed possible, since the committee saw a military loosening, but then we saw that the exterior line did not check out with them leaving. Our reports from the exterior line told us that they [the soldiers] did not leave the state. And then reports came to us that they were entering on the other side, and since there was no other movement anywhere else in the country, then they must be the same soldiers moving from one side to another.

For the moment there is no change in the situation. What happened to Colosio caused the suspension of the consultations. We said, then, here is all of the pretext they need. It seems like now the paranoia is clearing up and that it was not about us, but an internal plot for power. We can carry out the consultations with this [military] positioning, as long as it does not have the political foundation to make an offensive...

Q: Is it true that you met with Camacho a few days ago?

M: No, we have not seen Camacho since the dialogue, and it is also a lie that they have sent confidential communique's. Maybe they sent them but they have not arrived. We haven't heard anything from Camacho since the dialogue. He was waiting for the response of the consultations. We were continuing the process, and then the Colosio thing happened, and now we can do even less. Until now we knew that he was going to come [to Chiapas]. But I have had no contact with him, neither written nor public nor secret.

Q: What do you attribute this to?

M: To the fact that they are waiting until they regain their composure as well. They were going with the Colosio option, negotiating, and, with the change; they have to see how they can reposition themselves to see what they will offer or what they are negotiating.

Q: What will be the conditions for returning to the dialogue, and will you go down to the cathedral?

M: They will have to reproduce the military conditions previous to the dialogue: One, the Army will have to loosen its presence; Two, the belligerence of the ranchers, the merchants and the political class [will have to] decrease as soon as possible to the point before the dialogue. This appears to be very closely tied to the municipal presidents and the ranchers. That would be enough. Of course, it would be a positive signal if Salinas would resign.

Q: Is it true that you want to speak with Zedillo?

M: No, I have never said that. I can give him some suggestions on how to write text books, but I never said anything like that. The Committee has not met since he was named, but most likely they will not speak in favor of any candidate.

I have already stopped the candidates from coming. We are no longer going to invite them, but we are ready to speak with a representative of theirs. In that sense, we are prepared to speak to any representative. What concerns us is that they go in there, and if anything should happen to them, if any plane should fall on them... What I have said is that we were ready to speak to any candidate, but I already cut that off, them coming, since if anything happened to them, they would blame us. If it happened to Colosio, well then the worse for any other candidate.

Emiliano Zapata will not die by Decree

[La Jornada, 4/11]
April 10, 1994

"The right to land, of those who work, it is inalienable."

To the people of Mexico:
To the people and governments of the world:
To the national and international press:

Brothers and Sisters:

The Clandestine Revolutionary Indigenous Committee-General Command of the Zapatista National Liberation Army addresses you to say the following:

Today, April 10, is the 75th anniversary of the assassination of General Emiliano Zapata. His cry of "Land and Liberty!" appeared to be drowned by the treachery of Venustiano Carranza. Today the usurper Salinas de Gortari, who calls himself "President of the Mexican Republic," lies to the people of Mexico saying that his reforms of Article 27 of the Constitution reflect the spirit of General Zapata. The supreme government is lying! Zapata will not die by an arrogant decree. The right to land, of those who work it, is inalienable, and the war cry of "Land and Liberty!" continues to have a place in these Mexican lands, lands under the banner of neoliberalism, which shadows our soil and imprisons and kills all of those campesinos who struggle for their agricultural rights.

The Salinista reforms of Article 27 of the Magna Carta represent a treachery to country, and the one responsible for this crime must be judged as a usurper of the federal executive power in Mexico.

Brothers and sisters, today we mark 100 days of the new dawn of our voice, in the mouths of the rifles of faceless men and women, the voice of the landless campesinos, of the agricultural workers, of the small property holders, of the Indigenous Mexicans. The voice of those who have nothing and deserve everything had to follow the path of its smallest people, the most humiliated, the most persecuted, the most forgotten. The voice of the true people spoke, the voice of the Mexicans dispossessed of their lands, of their dignity and of their history. Everything seemed to be lost in the long night of our peoples. The earth gave nothing but pain and death. But 10 years before this day, in our sorrowful lands, some planted the hope of life, that it might return to the true people. In the Mexican mountains, the seed of their word found a good place to be born. Their silence was cultivated. Their step was the night, to become dawn later.

Then, in our dawn, "Enough!", the land gave the fruits of that planting. Instead of pain was born rage; instead of humiliation came dignity; instead of laments, weapons were reaped. Thousands of men and women climbed out of the earth, from the same soil that only gave them poverty and the tender fire that would inhabit their hands, they covered their faces, they erased their pasts, they left behind their names and their lands, and began to walk the path of war. None of us, men and women of the night path, have a tomorrow. There will never again be any peace for our fears. Our bones and blood will never again find rest.

For whom do these men and women walk? Who drinks their blood? For who is the light of their words? For who is the death of their life? One hundred days. Ten years. Who will now join hands with these men and women who can't be here with you today. Who will now take the flag that their blood ripped out of the hands of the powerful? Who will add their steps to their dignified walk? Who speaks with them, with us, of voice and tender fury? Who will shout with us? Who will not abandon us? Who will struggle with us? Who will listen to our dead?

Not the usurper, whose arrogance is dispatched from the National Palace. Not he who sells us out. Not those who kill us. Not those who dispossess us? Not those who humiliate us?

You, brothers and sisters, yes. For you, our blood. For the night of all, our timid light. For your life, our death. Our war for your peace. For your ears, our words. Your pain, brothers and sisters, will find alleviation in our struggle. For you, everything, brothers and sisters; for us, nothing.

Brothers and sisters, in front of you, in that palace where today the lies reign, lives the man who denies everything to us and who has not been asked to be there. The powerful gentleman, who takes away our lives every day, should leave there. He must go, brothers and sisters. Nothing good comes from his doors. There are lies on his face and his word lives in deceit. He must go, brothers and sisters. This is the cry that comes from the mountains. This is what our blood says. This is what our dead ask. That he must go. Tell him this, brothers and sisters: That he must go!

Let no one else come to that palace that you have in front of you except through the mandate of the majority. Let the one who sits in that chair rule by obeying. Let the one who speaks from that balcony have truth in his words. Let the one who is our leader be so by obeying. Tell him this, brothers and sisters. This is what we want.

We cannot be with you this day, brothers and sisters. Our path is still in the night on the mountain. Our face is still gagged; our word is still far away. Take a moment, Mexican brothers and sisters! Give us a moment of your voice and let our words speak from your mouth. In that same instant, in the mountains of the Mexican Southeast, thousands of men and women with negated faces, nameless and with no past, renew in their breasts the first cry at the beginning of the year. Happiness is in our heart since Emiliano Zapata has come again, in your steps, to the Zócalo of Mexico. We, small and forgotten, raise the image of Zapata in the other heart of the country: that of the mountains of the Mexican Southeast.

Greetings Mexican brothers and sisters! May our cry be yours:

Viva Emiliano Zapata!

Death to the supreme government!





From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast.

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

There Will Be no Peace Until There is Justice

[La Jornada, 4/11]
April 10, 1994

To the bases of support of the EZLN:
To the regular and irregular Zapatista combatants in the various arms and services of the EZLN:


Today, April 10, 1994, we mark 75 years since the assassination of general Emiliano Zapata, and 100 days of our just war against the evil Mexican government.

As in 1919, we Zapatistas must pay with blood the price of our cry of "Land and Liberty!" As in 1919, the supreme government kills us to stop our rebellion. As in 1919, the land is not owned by those who work it. As in 1919, arms are the only means left open by the evil government to those without land.

For this reason we have risen up in arms. For this reason our compan~eros have died in the last 100 days of our war. For this reason, today we dedicate our best homage to those heroes and martyrs of the Zapatista struggle, to the dead of eternity, who live in us. For this reason, today we say again that we do not surrender, that we will not hand over our arms, that there will be no peace until life is just and dignified, that we will not stop fighting until all of the people of Mexico have democracy, freedom, justice, independence, dignified housing, well-paid work, health care and education. Until this is accomplished our armed steps will continue and our flag will continue waving in the Mexican mountains.

Greetings, brother and sister Zapatistas!

Death to the supreme government!

Viva the Zapatista National Liberation Army!

From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast,

Clandestine Revolutionary Indigenous Committee-
General Command of the Zapatista National Liberation Army
Mexico, April 10, 1994

Votán Zapata lives in our dead

[La Jornada, 4/11]
April 10, 1994

To the people of Mexico:
To the people and governments of the world:
To the national and international press:

Brothers and Sisters:

The Clandestine Revolutionary Indigenous Committee-General Command of the Zapatista National Liberation Army addresses you to speak its word.

In these moments, tens of thousands of men, women, children and old people, Indigenous Mexicans all of them, are meeting on hundreds of ejidos, ranches, and communities of the Mexican countryside. Our hands also reach the heart of asphalt. Together with these people, we are united in front of a tri-color flag, in whose center there is the image of an eagle devouring a serpent. We are united by our shared misery, by the collective oblivion into which we were relocated 501 years ago, by the useless death that we suffer from, by our lack of faces, by having our names stripped from us, by wagering our life and death on an unknown future. Together with all these people, we are brought together by a collective desire in front of this flag: to change, once and for all, this sky and soil, which is now oppressed. To do this, we, the nameless and the faceless, the self-called "professionals in hope," the most mortal of all "transgressors of injustice," those of us who are mountains, those who walk in the night, those who are without voice in the palaces, who are the foreigners in their own land, who are eternally dying, who are the dispossessed of history, who are without a country and without a tomorrow, those of the tender fury, those of the unmasked truth, those of the long night of disdain, those men and women of truth... The smallest... The best... We must open again the door of your filial heart that you can receive our words.

We must speak truth from our mouths; we must put our heart in our hands. Brothers and sisters, we want you to know who is behind us, who directs us, who walks in our feet, who dominates our heart, who rides in our words, who lives in our dead.

We want you to know the truth, brothers and sisters, and it is like this:

From the very beginning of that long night in which we died, according to our most ancient grandparents, there was someone who collected our pain and our oblivion. There was a man who, his words coming from far away, came to our mountain and spoke with the language of the true men and women. His walk was, and was not, of these lands. In the mouths of our dead, in the voice of the wise elders, his words walked towards our heart. There were, and still are, brothers and sisters, those who are and are not the seed of this soil, who came to the mountain, dying, to live again, brother and sisters. Those who lived lived by his heart dying from this walk, his own but foreign, when he made his house in the mountain of the nighttime roof. His name was and is of many things appointed. His tender word waits and walks in our pain. He is, and is not, of these lands: Votán Zapata, guardian and heart of the people.

Votán Zapata, light from afar, came and was born here in our land. Votán Zapata, the appointed name again, always among our people. Votán Zapata, timid fire who lived 501 years in our death. Votán Zapata, name that changes, faceless man, tender light that gives us shelter. Coming, Votán Zapata came. Death was always with us. Dying, hope died. Coming, came Votán Zapata. Name without name, Votán Zapata watched in Miguel, walked in Jose' María, was Vincente, was named in Benito, flew in a bird, mounted in Emiliano, shouted in Francisco, visited Pedro. Dying, he lived, named without name, in our land. Name without name, living, came Votán Zapata to our land. Speaking, his word fell into our mouths. Coming, he is. Votán Zapata, guardian and heart of the people.

He is and is not all in us... He is underway... Votán Zapata, guardian and heart of the mountain... Us... Votán, guardian and heart of the people. He is one and many. None and all. Living, he comes. Votán Zapata, guardian and heart of the people.

This is the truth, brothers and sisters. You should know it. He will never die again in our life, and in our death he lives now and forever. Votán, guardian and heart of the people. Without name he is named, face without face, all and none, one and many, living dead. Votán, guardian and heart of the people. Tapacamino bird, always in front of us. Nothing walks behind us. Votán, guardian and heart of the people.

He took a name in our existence without name. He took the face of those without faces. He is the sky in the mountains. Votán Guardian and heart of the people. And in our unnameable, faceless path, he took a name in us: Zapatista National Liberation Army.

With this new name, the nameless are named. With this flag gagging our faces, all of us have faces again. With this name, the unnameable is named: Votán Zapata, guardian and heart of the people.

The Zapatista National Liberation Army. Tender Fury that is armed. An unnameable name. Unjust peace is transformed into war. Death that is born. Anguish made into hope. Pain cries. Quiet shout. Our own present for an unknown future. Everything for everyone, nothing for us. The unnamed, us, the always dead. Us, foolish dignity, forgotten corner of our country. Us, Zapatista National Liberation Army. Us, black and red flag beneath the tri-color eagle. Us, the red star finally in our sky, never the only star, but one more, the smallest. Us, only a look and a voice. Us, Zapatista National Liberation Army. Us, Votán, guardian and heart of the people.

This is the truth brothers and sisters. This is where we come from. This is where we are going. Living, he comes. Dying, death lives. Votán Zapata, father and mother, brother and sister, son and daughter, large and small, us, we are coming...

Receive our truth with a dancing heart. Zapata lives, for now and forever, in these lands.

Greetings, fellow Mexicans!

Greetings, campesinos of this country!

Greetings, Indigenous people of all countries!

Greetings, Zapatista combatants!

Zapata, living he comes!

Dying, he lives!

Viva Zapata!




From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast

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

Morelos Declaration, Tradition of Campesino Struggle

[La Jornada, 4/13]
April 10, 1994

To the signers of the Morelos Declaration [Declaración Morelense]:
Attention: Lieutenant Colonel Estanislao Tapia Sánchez:

From The Clandestine Revolutionary Indigenous Committee-General Command of the Zapatista National Liberation Army, Mexico

Brothers and Sisters:

We have received the historical document called the Morelos Declaration, sent out March 27, 1994 to the Mexican territory in struggle.

We, small and forgotten men and women, have seen how your words open our heart with truth and dignity. In the greatest tradition of campesino Mexican struggle, the Morelos Declaration follows the word of free dignity of the Plan de Ayala and the Plan de Cerro Prieto which, in different times, were put forth by our greatest historical leader and supreme general, Emiliano Zapata, and General Rube'n Jaramillo. For that, we want you to accept the military ranks that our Army truly recognizes.

Our walk is lightened and our flag flies higher when we read your words of support for our Declaration of the Lacandona Jungle. For years, the supreme government, which is now headed by the usurper in the National Palace, has strangled in jail and blood the just word of all of the campesinos and the Indians together. We have been dispossessed of land and water; even the air no longer belongs to us. Our death is mute in these days. We die by dying, Zapata and Jaramillo, in the Salinista reforms of Article 27 of the Constitution. Hope walks without rest, hope that our people have left to us, hope to live and govern ourselves. Our strides are strange on our first soil. Any foreign stride would offend our earth. Lying papers stain our legitimate history. Our dignity is imprisoned in statues and museums. Foreign vacations take our voice, and their poison kills our words of truth. We have been alone, far from our people, and forgotten to each other. Our death was deaf to the ears of the poor life that lives in us.

The two-faced ones thought that they had forever silenced our shouts. They thought, the usurpers of the truth and givers of darkness, that our dead were already dead. They were already celebrating our defeat and their victory, in the arrogant loneliness of their palaces. Their lies danced on the trampled truth. The world looked without looking. The country and our hope were in a corner. Nothing moved inside of so much oppression. Silence died, living in silence.

But in the absence of anything happening, our path led through nights and mountains. Tender was the care we took with our fierce word. In near-
silence we spoke. The night was patient; a compan~era, a lover and an accomplice. Small, we grew, and again we were new. Our path had good direction, it was mute and coming, it was. For 10 years it was silent; broken hope slowly maturing without speaking; only our word spoke.

In the dawn of the year, we without names had a new name, we without faces had a face. Emiliano Zapata, our father, gave us his last name. Our brother was the armed example made by Emiliano Zapata. Our child Zapata asked us for a new future. A flag is what clothes our war path. Emiliano Zapata, of the soil of our land, is the dignity of our history, the light of our night, and always the clean morning of our hope.

Brothers and sisters, the evil government is still deaf to our voice. Other voices are needed to open its ears. Your words make strong our shouts.

Viva Emiliano Zapata!

Death to the supreme government!

Greetings, brother and sister Zapatistas and Jaramillistas of Morelos!





From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast,

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

April, 1994

The Story of Durito and the Defeat of Neoliberalism

[This story was written by Subcommander Marcos for a 10 year-old girl who sent him a drawing.]

[La Jornada, 4/11]
April 10, 1994

To Mariana Moguel:
From: Insurgent Subcommander Marcos

Subcommander Mariana Moguel:

I greet you with respect and congratulate you for the new rank acquired with your drawing. Permit me to tell you a story which, perhaps, you will understand someday. It is the story of...


I am going to tell you a story that came to me the other day. It is the story of a small beetle who wears glasses and smokes a pipe. I met him one day as I was looking for tobacco to smoke, and could not find any. Suddenly, on one side of my hammock, I saw that a bit of tobacco had fallen and formed a small trail. I followed it to see where my tobacco was, and to see who the hell had taken it and was spilling it. A few meters away, behind a rock, I found a beetle sitting at a small typewriter, reading some papers and smoking a diminutive pipe.

"Ahem, ahem," I said, so that the beetle would notice my presence, but he paid me no heed.

Then I said:

"Listen, that tobacco is mine."

The beetle took off his glasses, looked me up and down, and told me, quite irritatedly:

"Please, captain, I beg you not to interrupt me. Don't you realize that I am studying?"

I was a bit surprised and was going to give him a kick, but I calmed myself and sat down to one side to wait for him to finish studying. In a little while, he gathered up his papers, put them away in the desk, and, chewing his pipe, said to me:

"Well, now, what can I do for you, captain?"

"My tobacco," I responded.

"Your tobacco?" he said to me. "You want me to give you a little?"

I started to get pissed off, but the little beetle handed me the bag of tobacco with its little foot, and added:

"Don't be angry, captain. Please understand that tobacco cannot be found here, and I had to take some of yours."

I calmed myself. I liked the beetle, and I said to him, "Don't worry about it. I have some more over there."

"Hmm," he answered.

"And you, what is your name?" I asked him.

"Nebuchanedzar," he said, and continued, "But my friends call me Durito. You can call me Durito, captain."

I thanked him and asked him what it was that he was studying.

"I'm studying neoliberalism and its strategy of domination for Latin America," he told me.

"And what good is that to a beetle?" I asked him.

He replied, very annoyed: "What good is it? I have to know how long your struggle is going to last, and whether you are going to win. In addition, a beetle should care enough to study the situation of the world in which it lives, don't you think, captain?"

"I don't know," I said. "Why do you want to know how long our struggle will last and whether we are going to win?"

"Well, nothing has been understood," he told me, putting on his glasses and lighting his pipe. After exhaling a mouthful of smoke, he continued:

"To know how long we beetles are going to have to take care that you do not smash us with your boots."

"Ah!" I said.

"Hmm," He said.

"And to what conclusion have you come in your study?" I asked him.

He took out the papers from the desk and began to leaf through them.

"Hmm...hmm," he said every so often as he looked through them.

After having finished, he looked at my eyes and said, "You are going to win."

"I already knew that," I told him. I added, "But how long will it last?"

"A long time," he said, sighing with resignation.

"I already knew that, too... Don't you know exactly how long?" I asked.

"It cannot be known exactly. We have to take into account many things: the objective conditions, the ripeness of the subjective conditions, the correlation of forces, the crisis of imperialism, the crisis of socialism, etcetera, etcetera."

"Hmm," I said.

"What are you thinking about, captain?"

"Nothing," I answered. "Well, Mr. Durito, I have to go. It was my pleasure to have met you. You may take all of the tobacco that you want, whenever you like."

"Thank you, captain. You can be informal with me if you like." [In Spanish, this is an invitation to use the familiar form of address, tu, instead of the formal usted.]

"Thank you, Durito. I am now going to give orders to my compan~eros that it is prohibited to step on beetles. I hope that helps."

"Thank you, captain. Your order will be of much use to us."

"Whatever happens, take much care, because my young men are very distracted, and they do not always look where they are putting their feet."

"I will do so, captain."

"See you later."

"See you later. Come whenever you like, and we will talk."

"I wil,l" I told him, and went back to the headquarters.

That is all Mariana. I hope to know you personally someday and be able to trade ski masks and drawings. All right.

Health and other colors, because on the ones that you used, the ink must have run out.

Insurgent Subcommander Marcos,

Mountains of the Mexican Southeast.
April, 1994

The EZLN Promises Justice
[La Jornada]
April 12, 1994

To the people of Mexico:
To the people and governments of the world:

Brothers and Sisters:

The Clandestine Revolutionary Indigenous Committee-General Command of the Zapatista National Liberation Army addresses you to denounce the following:

First: On the day of April 7, 1994, as he led a clearing of land for the planting, the compan~ero Francisco Mena López was cowardly assassinated by armed ranchers. The crime was committed near the Venustiano Carranza ejido, Altamirano township, Chiapas.

Second: Francisco Mena López was killed from two shots, one to the head, and the other to the mouth, both of them from a .38-special revolver.

Third: The ranchers named Arturo Espinoza, Juan Espinoza, and Jorge Espinoza, owners of the El Miradero Ranch, Altamirano township, Chiapas, are accused of this attack.

Fourth: The compan~ero Francisco Mena López was, at the time of his death, leader of the local committee of our EZLN, and had been threatened with death by ranchers of Altamirano before January 1, 1994, for his participation in the struggle for agrarian justice.

Fifth: After the assassination, the now-accused took flight and hid in the properties of their accomplices, ranchers of Altamirano, to escape the Zapatista action of justice. As of today, they are still fugitives.

Sixth: With the complicity of the governmental authorities, the arrogant ranchers of Altamirano have told the lie that the Espinoza family has been kidnapped by elements belonging to our EZLN. Accustomed to exercising arbitrariness and arrogance, the ranchers and the government think that our EZLN conducts itself with the same injustice that we fight against. They try to injure the prestige of our forces among the population, and a good number of small property holders want to end up breaking the already-weak process of dialogue and begin a military action against us.

Seventh: The EZLN, as opposed to the evil government, does not carry out arbitrary detentions. The CCRI-CG of the EZLN has taken up the case in the Zapatista tribunal of justice so that they may carry out an investigation and allocate responsibility to those responsible for this crime. No Zapatista judicial action will be carried out until the investigation underway has real results.

Eighth: We reiterate that we are not affected by poor argumentations that try to justify a military action against us. We are prepared to respond to any attack, and to resist the aggression that the supreme government prepares, to the last person.

Ninth: The process of consultation continues to be suspended. We will not speak of peace while the signs of war continue.

Tenth: The EZLN reiterates to the people of Mexico their commitment to conduct themselves with dignity, truth, and honesty, three weapons that the usurper government will never be able to acquire.


From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast,

Clandestine Revolutionary Indigenous Committee-
General Command of the Zapatista National Liberation Army
Mexico, April 11, 1994