EZLN words at San La'zaro

BOriginally published in Spanish by the EZLN
Translated by irlandesa

Words of the EZLN
March 22, 2001.
In front of San La'zaro Legislative Palace

Brothers and sisters of Chiapas, Oaxaca, Puebla, Veracruz, Tlaxcala, Hidalgo, Quere'taro, Guanajuato, Michoaca'n, State of Mexico, Morelos, Guerrero, Yucatan, Quintana Roo, Campeche, Tabasco, Tamaulipas, Jalisco, Nayarit, Colima, Sinaloa, Sonora, Northern Baja California, Southern Baja California, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon, Durango, Zacatecas, Aguascalientes, San Luis Potosi' and the Federal District.

Indigenous brothers and sisters:

Brothers and sisters of Mexico City:


Through our voice, seven times seven speaks the voice of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation.

We have come from very far away. Very far away in time. Very far away in space. We have come from very deep. Very deep in the earth. Very deep in history. We have flown from very high. Very high in dream. Very high in the morning.

We are the color we are of the earth.

We were named in the language of our most first, and the language which governs and orders us today has nothing for us other than the name of contempt and shame.


Brother, sister:

We have brought seven voices in order to bring you seven words. Seven times seven faces shine from behind our being without face.

You, indigenous woman. They lied to us. Oblivion and death are the only future being offered by the one above. You carry three burdens and you give birth to three rebellions. When you are a girl, your horizons are limited to the poor hut, the empty table, the firewood, the stream for clothes and sadness, the mill wringing something of life from the maize in order to eat poorly with the little brothers and sisters for whom you are mother without having ever been allowed to be child. When you are an adolescent, once again your horizons are the hut, the table, the firewood, the stream, the mill, and your little brothers and sisters are replaced by your own children. When you are old, age should have you just beginning life, and forever your horizons are the hut, the table, the firewood, the stream, the mill. Illness will take you to the only place which breaks the poor horizons which seize you: the grave.

You, indigenous woman, listen to what my voice of indigenous woman is saying to you when it says rebellion...Comandanta Yolanda:

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

Indigenous Brothers of the entire Mexican Country.

Indigenous Women from the different Municipalities and States.

We are calling on you to unite, to organize yourselves so that you may all struggle together in order to defend our rights, our culture, our mother tongues, because it is our wealth as indigenous.

We indigenous woman must increase our participation in the struggle, so that our rights as women will be written in Mexican law. Only in that way will we be able to assure that our living conditions will improve. The organization and participation of indigenous women is the only path left to us, the poor.

If we do not do it ourselves, no one shall do it for us. Indigenous compa~eras, let us make an effort to organize ourselves and to fight alongside our compa~eros. Without our participation, as women, the struggle cannot be won, and we, as women, shall always remain marginalized and humiliated. That is why, sister women, we will be participating in the struggle, so that women shall have the rights we deserve.

Democracy!
Liberty!
Justice!

>From the San La'zaro Legislative Palace, Congress of the Union.
By the Clandestine Revolutionary Indigenous Committee - General Command of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation. Comandanta Yolanda.
March 22, 2001.
Mexico, D.F.


You, woman of the city. They lied to us. Harassment and contempt are still the only future which the one from above offers. You carry a thousand burdens, and you give birth to a thousand rebellions. They harass you and despise you when you are a girl, when you are an adolescent, when you are a young woman, when you are an adult, when you are mature, when you are an old woman. Between harassment and contempt, they want to assign you the role of ornament, and they build the corner for you which they try to make you inhabit. They harass and despise you at home, in school, in the metro or on the bus, in the street, at work, at play, during your free time, in the shop.

They want you to be valued for what you look like, and not for what you are. Power then takes the face of father, brother, sweetheart, friend, lover, husband, son, work companion, superior or subordinate, compa~ero in the struggle, the other, mother, sister, girlfriend, compa~era, daughter, the other. Man is then made the hunter, and woman the rival. The struggle then multiples and its fronts multiply: the hunter must understand that the prisoner is not a prisoner, but a person. The rival must understand that the rival is not a rival, but a person. You are in the majority, and they classify you as a minority. You are a person, and they classify you as a thing. For you, the power which takes the face of the men between and in front of those who fight is offering you everything necessary for you to take the face which the power desires and despises. It assigns you the place it wants for you: the horizon of the kitchen, maternity, ornament, object of pleasure, ridicule and contempt, deception for your equality.

You, woman of the city, listen to what my voice of woman of the city is saying to you when it says rebellion...Comandanta Esther:

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

Brothers and sisters:

We would like to thank everyone who accompanied us in the march through the 12 States.

Thank you, brothers, for having received us and for having listened to us in the towns and cities through which we passed. Thank you, also, for having provided us with security.

We are calling on all the sister workers, teachers, housewives, seamstresses, doctors, employees, street cleaners, lesbian women, artists, street vendors and honest media workers. We are calling on you to organize yourselves wherever you are, at work or in your homes in the cities, in order to demand our rights which we deserve, and in order to put an end to injustice, and so that you can be recognized at work and have a fair salary. Because we shall only be able to achieve justice if we are united and organized.

Our march is not the last one, but it is the beginning, in order to continue fighting for our rights.

The long path is still to be followed, and it shall never end, because what we win one day we cannot go back on, we must continue until we reach the end.

The seed has been sown, but it also needs someone to water it so that it does not die and so that it bears good fruit. It also needs someone to harvest it.

We cannot allow it to wither, because it needs to continue to be fed. It needs to continue being watered and weeded, so that that the best and most abundant fruits may be harvested.

It is not just the task of the zapatistas. It is everyone's obligation to care for it, to make it grow, because that is where hope lies. Remaining frozen is to allow injustice and inequality to continue.

We are inviting ourselves to stay focused, and not look back, because, once our demand is met, we must be on guard so that it is not someday trampled again.

Democracy!
Liberty!
Justice!

>From the San La'zaro Legislative Palace, Congress of the Union.
By the Clandestine Revolutionary Indigenous Committee - General Command of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation. Comandanta Esther.
March 22, 2001.
Mexico, D.F.



You, rural worker. They lied to us. Poverty and desperation are still the only future being offered by the one from above. They betrayed what was law, and made betrayal law. The land is no longer his who works it. It is now the one's who exploits and destroys it. The land which belongs to you is becoming more meager, and its slenderness is fattening the land of the one who has much land. For your demands, there are long lines of files. Millions of excuses for your hunger. And one single lie for your demands: not today, come back tomorrow. And tomorrow is nothing more than a repetition of the impotence of yesterday and of today. If you worked and have something, it will not be for you or for your descendants. The banker will come to show papers, and behind the papers everything you have will disappear. Behind the papers, the credit will go, the machinery, the technology and the market. But they will go into the pocket of the one who does not even know the color of the earth.

You, rural worker. Listen to what my voice of campesino and small owner is saying to you when it says rebellion...Comandante Bulmaro:

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

Brothers and sisters:

Ejiditarios, comuneros, small owners, day laborers and migrants in general:

We, the rural workers, who make mother earth produce, have experienced what the life of misery and exploitation is. They have denied us, the poor campesinos, any possibility of the just and dignified development which we deserve as human beings.

It is not fair that we are constantly forced to become landless peons on our own lands, without any hope of overcoming our living conditions.

It is not fair that the government continues to control us, buying the consciences of campesinos through temporary programs like Procampo, Progresa and the much heralded micro-credits.

The purpose of all these crumbs is so that the campesino will remain silent and satisfied, shattering the collective unity of the working people.

It is not fair that many millions of campesinos without lands are forced to work and to sell our workforce to the great agricultural businesses of a few.

It is not fair that many millions of us, campesinos, have to leave our families and migrate to other countries in search of better living conditions, while a handful of landowners have amassed large amounts of land.

The EZLN is calling on you to organize yourselves more and better, from your ejidos, communities, ranches, barrios and locations.

In order to fight together without rest against the forgetting and abandonment, and to banish all the different kinds of injustices which many million of us Mexican men and women are suffering.

We campesinos are an important piece in the building of a new Mexico, where all Mexican men and women fit, without regard to race, color or language.

A Mexico where campesinos have the right to decide their own forms of economic, political, social and cultural organization.

That is why we are saying: never again a Mexico without the campesinos.

Democracy!
Liberty!
Justice!

>From the San La'zaro Legislative Palace, Congress of the Union.
By the Clandestine Revolutionary Indigenous Committee - General Command of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation. Comandante Bulmaro.
March 22, 2001.
Mexico, D.F.



You, city worker. They lied to us. Exploitation and desperation are still the only future being offered by the one above.

Government, the employer, the foreman, pro-management unions, are the new masters.

You, worker in the city. Listen to what my voice of worker is saying to you when it says rebellion...Comandante Zebedeo:

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

To national and international civil society: Indigenous brothers and sisters:

This delegation from the EZLN has come to give you our words.

Our Mexico has been being led by the hands of just a few, who are manipulating the country's destiny and impressing its inhabitants with deceptive talk about building a new Mexico. While making their confidential agreements, they distract us - the city workers, the workers, domestic workers, waiters, shopkeepers, firemen, electricians, bricklayers, stevedores, peons, street vendors, salespersons, drivers, cabbies, handicapped, retired persons and pensioners, mechanics, painters, tailors, street cleaners, neighbors, gardeners, telephone operators - with talk about progress, about development and an infinity of promises which have remained on paper and in words. The working class does not live by papers, and it will no longer live on illusions nor with promises. No more mocking our dignity, nor any more deceitful distractions.

How many more years are we going to put up with it? Our sad lives have always been so, we are born weeping, we die weeping, and this tragedy which is suffered every day is not natural, it is the product of neoliberal programs. The effects of this mega-project pay no attention whatsoever to the working class. There is absolutely no concern for us, for how to undo this misery in which they have plunged us. The increasing growth of the poor is, then, quite notable.

On the other hand, there are those who are enjoying the benefits offered by our land, which remains in the hands of a few. And it is quite obvious that federalism has served, not as a collaborator, but as useful material so that the great majority would remain flung into the trash bin. In short, federalism is in bed with the corporatism which has humiliated us deeply with death threats and unemployment. The Confederation of Mexican Workers and its institutions. They used the money of the Mexican State to buy consciences, in that way weakening our organizations which aspire to the justice of a better salary.

Then corruption arose. Prisons, assassination, clandestine jails, torture, repression, humiliation and exclusion.

We must change this authoritarian and paternalistic structure. We must be actors, so that democracy makes sense, by practicing it. Democracy is not an arbitrary thing. Democracy is equality, democracy is justice. And, in establishing it, we shall not be showing up with our arms crossed or our mouths open.

We must be a driving force, organizing ourselves better. We must be firm, in order to seek a new way of doing politics, and new concepts which will truly address the general problems which we are currently experiencing.

We all have a challenge to confront, to fight for it, and to fight until it is achieved. We will fight together, you with us, we with you.

Democracy!
Liberty!
Justice!

>From the San La'zaro Legislative Palace, Congress of the Union.
By the Clandestine Revolutionary Indigenous Committee - General Command of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation. Comandante Zebedeo.
March 22, 2001.
Mexico, D.F.



You, Indigenous. They lied to us. Racism and forgetting is the only future being offered by the one above.

You, indigenous...

Tenek
Tlahuica
Tlapaneco
Tojolabal
Totonaco.
Triqui.
Tzeltal.
Tzotzil.
Wixaritari.
Yaqui.
Zapoteco.
Zoque.
Maya.
Kumiai.
Mayo.
Mazahua.
Mazateco.
Mixe.
Amuzgo.
Cora.
Cuicateco.
Chinanteco.
Chocholteco.
Chol.
Chontal.
Guariji'o.
Huasteco.
Huave.
Kikapu'.
Kukapa'.
Mame.
Matlatzinca.
Mixteco.
Nahuatl.
~ah~u.
O'Odham.
Pame.
Popoluca.
Purepecha.
Rara'muri.

Listen to what my voice of the color we are of the earth is saying to you when it says rebellion...Comandante David:

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

Indigenous brothers and sisters of all the languages and cultures we inhabit throughout the length and breadth of our country Mexico.

Beginning with this march of indigenous dignity - which was started from the Mexican Southeast by the delegation of the CCRI-CG of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation, and, along with the steps of millions of indigenous and non-indigenous brothers from throughout the country, until it reached the capital - has now been a demonstration to the nation and to the world that the hour of those without voice and without face has arrived. It is now the hour of the marginalized and the forgotten. The hour of all the Indian peoples.

We have shown that the moment of uniting our hands, our thoughts and our ideals, has arrived, and we have made one our demands for Liberty, for Justice and for Respect. We have made one our voices and our cries of Ya Basta!, which have now made the earth tremble and the mountains shudder and borders be crossed, in order to meet. And we have, all of us, traced a path which will carry us until we reach a more just, dignified life, without racism or discrimination.

We will not allow them once again to close off the path to us which we have all traced. Our steps shall not be dispersed, our unity shall not be broken, our voices and our cries will never be silenced now. We will not allow egoism, division, individualism and competition to reign in our minds and in our hearts.

Indigenous brothers and sisters from throughout the country:

The Comandancia General of the EZLN is calling on you to unity, to organize ourselves, and to mobilize from your towns, communities, municipalities and states, in order to demand that the federal government and the legislators in the Congress of the Union recognize indigenous rights and culture in the Mexican Constitution, according to the Cocopa legislative proposal, which captures the essence of the San Andre's Accords. To continue with your demands, in every way, until the three signals which have been demanded are fully complied with. Only in that way can dialogue be resumed in order to deal with the issues which are still unresolved. To demand, all of us, a serious, real and respectful dialogue, and make the federal government carry out the accords which are created in the negotiations, until peace with justice and dignity is achieved.

Democracy!
Liberty!
Justice!

>From the San La'zaro Legislative Palace, Congress of the Union.
By the Clandestine Revolutionary Indigenous Committee - General Command of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation. Comandante David.
March 22, 2001.
Mexico, D.F.



You, Teacher, student, neighbor, young brother, unemployed, professional person, sex worker, religious person, homosexual, lesbian, transsexual, artist, intellectual, militant, activist - they lied to us. Cynicism and bitterness are still the only future being offered by the one above.

Normalcy is an everyday jail. Obeying is maturing. Success is being ashamed of being. Our houses are piling up in the corners of the cities. Living is struggling for barely a mouthful, a bite of light, of food, of water, of dignified roof. School is made jail, where the jailer sometime wears the face of teacher, and sometimes the face of student. The street is merely the waiting room for the prison, the hospital or death for the brother, who makes the street school and house and trench. Hypocritical normalcy of the one who is power turns sexual preference into crime, and the man who loves man, the woman who loves woman, the other who builds love with the other, all are persecuted as criminals. Love is now a crime. They do not employ the one who has knowledge in their business, or he loses his job. The one who lives by his body is persecuted in the light and is sought out in the darkness. The one who believes in a supreme being with the face of one who suffers below is forced to be shut away, while the one who owes love out of belief and conviction walks the streets. The one who creates art is forced to create merchandise, and the one who thinks must think merchandise and not thoughts. The one who makes politics authentic service to the other and a space for struggle and constant change is forced to put a price on his conscience and to sell his beliefs.

You, teacher, student, neighbor, young brother, unemployed, professional person, religious person, homosexual, lesbian, transsexual, artist, intellectual, militant, activist. Listen to what my voice of seven faces is saying to you when it says rebellion...Comandante Tacho.

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

People of Mexico:

Brothers and sisters of all of civil society:

Se~ora: We came to be in this greatest of houses, and we see that its foundations are firmly based in the building, and now nothing can destroy it. With great windows in order to look out and see the thresholds of the house. It is built of solid and resilient materials. The house is the greatest and the most admired. It is the highest building, and its building is still not complete. But we do want to say that the building is located there, in Asia, in Africa, and also on the Asian continent and Europe. All of America admires you, from those continents they come to contemplate you and to accompany you in the building, because they believe that no storm can destroy you, not the greatest storms nor any earthquake. They admire you because the builders, the architects, are the wise ones, the oldest ones who have not forgotten their knowledge since the most remote of times.

Brothers and sisters of national and international civil society. We are directing ourselves today to all of you, in order to tell you that we have built together - prior to and during these 7 years of struggle for dignity - our right to enjoy a more just and more human life.

Throughout our march of indigenous dignity, we have felt that we have all been the ones who are building the path to hope for the people of Mexico and the world. That is why, brothers of national and international civil society, as good builders we must continue to build, together, teachers, young students, intellectuals of Mexico and the world. Professional artists, honest religious persons, historians, researchers, employees, academics, announcers, doctors, nurses, telephone operators, engineers, architects, lawyers, honest deputies and senators, honest journalists, astronomers, pilots of Mexico and the world, and all the professions.

Brothers and sisters of Mexico and the world, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation is telling all of you to continue being generous in the struggle of the people of Mexico and the world. To continue organizing yourselves and participating from wherever you might be, for all of us to build together a new society and another new way of doing politics in our country and in the world. We are certain that it is necessary for the people of Mexico and the world to be the builders of the place which belongs to us, in order to forge, to write together, with sacrifices, the new history, which shall never be erased. This generation will one day die, but the history which will never again be erased, is, and will be, the legacy of those of who are sowing the seed of a new life, which will be remembered in the future by all the people of Mexico and the world, to which we offered our best thoughts, our best intelligence for the good of all the people of Mexico and the World.

Democracy!
Liberty!
Justice!

>From the San La'zaro Legislative Palace, Congress of the Union.
By the Clandestine Revolutionary Indigenous Committee - General Command of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation. Comandante Tacho.
March 22, 2001.


Brothers and sisters of the Republic:

Brothers and sisters of Mexico City:

Seven times seven we have given you the word. Seven times you are with us.
We, with you, fighting for...

Democracy!
Liberty!
Justice!


>From Emiliano Zapata Street
Clandestine Revolutionary Indigenous Committee - General Command of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation.

Mexico, March of 2001.

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