Inaugural Speech of Pablo Salazar Mendichuchia as Governor of the State of Chiapas

12/8/00
Originally published in Spanish by Pablo Salazar Mendiguchi'a
Translated by irlandesa

TThe Hour For Which We Have All Been Preparing Has Arrived


The hour for which we all have been preparing has arrived. The clock is ticking: with this republican act, the time of governing has begun. Today the will of Chiapanecos to change their destiny has taken office, and it is taking control as government.

We should not in any way forget that we arrived at this point through the path of unity, expressed in an alliance replete with desires and hopes.

The path which brought us here shall continue to be broadened through greater participation, we are going to continue traveling it, day after day, until we complete, fully, the six years of government that we shall be sharing.

We have worked together, in harmony, with a tolerant and inclusive spirit. It is essential to continue doing so, because the reasons which united us yesterday are not only still valid, but they have multiplied.

The magnitude of the challenges and diversities which we are confronting are a warning to us that union, for us, is not optional. We urgently need the creation of a new historic bloc that transcends the electoral and which incorporates the entire chiapaneco society.

To that end I am calling on all, Chiapanecas and Chiapanecos, at this hour of beginnings, to form a new union, because the more united we are, the better we shall be able to govern, and we shall be, in truth, what we have so needed: A Government of All and With All.

Today I am assuming the position of constitutional Governor of the State of Chiapas. It gives me enormous pride to be able to serve my people from this position of responsibility. I shall fulfill the trust you have commended to me with all diligence, passion and devotion.

On August 20 the citizens went to the polls and voted for change. The mandate is clear. The new government shall, beyond a shadow of a doubt, comply with it.

The transition shall begin with the government itself. As of today, power shall be exercised institutionally, ethically, speaking truthfully, listening to the people and conscientiously holding itself accountable for all government acts.

Power shall be exercised in favor of those who have never had it, it shall be for those who have always suffered under it. Power in Chiapas shall be used to do justice and to govern fairly.

>From here forward, the Government of Chiapas shall be one with all. It
shall no longer be the representative nor the spokesperson for anyone against the interests of the people. It shall not again be an instrument to be used against the people.

On August 20, the citizenry also voted to change the way in which the head of the state executive works.

I shall, therefore, be a governor who will be seen working most of the time outside the Government Palace. I shall be a governor who will not force his officials to hang his photograph in their offices, nor one who forces his coworkers to worship his persona. All of these practices will be forever wiped out.

The state government shall function as a large work team. Departmental secretaries will meet regularly with a cabinet which will operate in a collegial manner, and the state government will act as a coordinating body for the efforts of the entire government. Starting today, it will be a government of, and for, work.

The new administration will have a new institutional design whose objective will be that of modernizing and adapting public administration to the new situation which exists in the state.

The main purpose of this change is to speed up social and economic development in the state, in a balanced, fair and sustained manner, on a modern and lasting infrastructure. The new administrative framework which we have proposed to create will seek to improve the quality of the services the government offers, to increase the efficacy of its actions, and to make them transparent, to allow better management and use of public resources, to open spaces which will allow greater citizens' participation, and to disseminate their actions and achievements.

In order to achieve that, we shall promote a program of professionalism and training for public servants, we will devote special attention to strategic planning, we will develop a plan for comprehensive, inclusive and long range development, and we will be very strict in the evaluation and control of work and in the performance of officials.

Two days ago I announced the formation of my cabinet. It is, above all, a team of women and men who reflect the new and rich plurality of Chiapas' society and government.

I remind all of them that the citizens voted in the hope of being able to count, finally, on an honorable government. This is, and will be, an inescapable challenge of my administration. Do not forget it.

Despite the richness of its people, and its enormous natural resources, Chiapas is the state with the lowest level of development in the country.

And it is not that we Chiapanecos now want to avoid our responsibilities. Obviously the backwardness in which we find ourselves is owing in some measure to the improper management of the state's direction by the state governments. We are also aware that the honesty of the majority of those governing have had many of the dreams and possibilities of development cut short.

Chiapas has always been border or far corner, that is, the furthest or most isolated place in the land. When we were part of Central America, we were the forgotten of the North. And since we decided to be Mexicans, we have been the forgotten of the South.

Creating the conditions for a sustainable and maintainable development in the state of Chiapas, and with the entire Southeast, is a matter of public policy, the responsibility for which falls basically to the federal government.

I know that many voices will be raised which will say that many economic resources have already been given to Chiapas. I want to say to them that that the first thing we would ask is: where are the substantial federal investments which have been announced with such great fanfare over the last few years? We ourselves are the Chiapanecos.

That is why today, in the presence of the President of the Republic, with all due respect, I am asking him to order an audit of all federal funds which have been sent to Chiapas over the last few years. We Chiapanecos want to know where those resources are.

It is vital and urgent for us that the federal government, the federal and state sector, the governments of friendly countries and international investors, in coordination with the state government, secure the necessary conditions which will allow us to build a peace economy in Chiapas.

I am likewise asking the deputies and senators of the Congress of the Union, those from here and those from other states, to promote the approval of a new budget, which will facilitate the creation of those conditions which will allow peace in Chiapas. There is no successful peace process which does not include a substantial investment in peace.

A vision is necessary in Chiapas, and in the entire Southeast, which will effectively incorporate the entire state and region into the country's development, and which will make possible the reversal of the economic imbalance between the north and the south of Mexico.

Within this framework, substantial investments in transportation and irrigation infrastructure will be necessary, as well as regulatory and institutional changes, and changes in price and tariff policies. If it is that philosophy which drives the Plan of Panama Puebla, then this regional plan would be welcome.

We shall do our part. Economic policy will occupy a fundamental place in the new government's program, along with the implementation of a just social policy. We will improve the standard of living of the population, and we will set realistic goals in order to deal with crucial issues in the life of Chiapas: eradicating poverty, unemployment and underemployment, and promoting modernization in the countryside, industrialization and economic growth.

Under the principle of sustainability we will review the use and management of natural and productive resources, which will allow the development of strategic projects that will contribute to the creation of permanent jobs. Within this perspective, individualized policies will be administered, according to the kinds of producers, the regions and their conditions, the peoples' living conditions and the level of development of productive and social infrastructure.

We will review the method of distribution of public spending, and we will make those changes which are indispensable in order to insure that investment reaches the most needy sectors. We will help Chiapaneco producers, in order to put them in a competitive position in the national and international markets, and we will now promote research as an instrument for development. As we promised during the campaign, beginning now, we will be opening a Foreign Business office, and we will be promoting the opening of commercial offices in different countries in order to facilitate our exports.

But there is no doubt that our most important challenge is the development of a social program which will allow us to reduce inequalities and the marginalization in which the state of Chiapas has been. We must build that social program with an inclusive vision, respectful of cultural and social differences, directed especially towards those sectors of the population which have traditionally been neglected: women, displaced indigenous, boys and girls in circumstances of risk, young persons, people with different abilities and older adults.

Our social policy will fundamentally rest on three areas: fighting poverty, education and health.

As a central strategy we will be encouraging production in order to reduce poverty through the promotion of traditional and original agricultural activities, and we will create sources of financing for the marketing of regional products.

We recognize education to be the key for human development. We will promote an inter-cultural education of respect and tolerance and teacher training. We will improve the quality of services and infrastructure at all levels. We will create a state unit of educational planning. We will strengthen distance learning, and we will give prominence to promoting the participation of society in educational tasks. From this point on, I am calling on the chiapaneco educational profession, on parents, on researchers, and on society in general, to debate and to design a new educational model, which will respond to, and transform, our unhappy social reality.

In matters of health, we will extend service coverage using criteria based on equality, without any distinctions or discrimination. We will develop a model of care, with programs oriented towards the most vulnerable sectors, which will have two foci of action: on the one hand, health promotion and disease prevention, and, on the other, comprehensive services for health problems.

In order for this strategy to be successful we must radically improve women's health and reinforce their important role in the nuclear and community family. We will be promoting micro-regional health systems, in which the joint participation of institutions, communities and civil organizations will allow evaluation in this arena.

This government will invest in human beings, because they are the primary wealth of the state. From here forward, I am calling on the national and international communities to help us in this task. I am asking them to join in our efforts. Today, more than ever, their solidarity will be welcomed.

The most diverse and rich ecosystems of the Mexican nation are found in Chiapas. Thanks to the biodiversity, our state is considered as one of the most important regions of the planet.

Over the last few years, environmental damage - from deforestation by fires, soil erosion, contamination of the water and destruction of ecosystems - has been accelerated, affecting our natural resources, undermining our natural capital. At the present time, even protected areas are confronting serious problems which, if not resolved in the shortest possible time, will lead us to a process of irreversible damage.

Within this context, as a central government action, we will devise and put into action a master plan of ecological regulation for the state of Chiapas, promoting land use, conservation of green areas and protection of aquifer resources.

We will also implement measures for conservation of biodiversity and environmental protection in the state and in the border areas: Tabasco, Veracruz, Oaxaca and Guatemala, supporting the proposal for the creation of a Mesoamerican biological corridor.

It is of vital importance, at the same time, to resolve agrarian conflicts in regions of greatest environmental relevance, to regularize the use of forest combustibles, to reinforce actions oriented towards stimulating clean industries, efficient solid waste management, recycling and organic agriculture, supporting the marketing of their products at the national and international levels.

We will pay particular attention to the prevention and relief produced by the oil industry. We will consolidate the State System of Protected Natural Areas, including the activation of financial and fiscal mechanisms which will allow rewards for environmental services and the recovery and conversion of degraded areas.

In order to achieve that, we will promote environmental publicity campaigns, and we will train the communities through the creation of technical programs. We will lend support to scientific and technological research, and we will establish a system of public consultation for cases of environmental controversy and their possible solutions.

We will also promote the establishment of a state environmental tribunal and the establishment of mechanisms for social participation which will reinforce the carrying out of regulations in this arena. We will seek to integrate environmental content at all educational levels so that, from the communities themselves, actions will be taken to protect and to restore the natural wealth of all Chiapaneco men and women.

During my travels through the state, many voices were raised complaining that the state's current regionalization did not reflect their multicultural identity, nor their needs for economic and social integration, nor did it permit adequate planning promoting our peoples' strengths.

In response, I am calling on them to provide their experience, knowledge and proposals in a participatory and democratic debate which will lead to defining a new regionalization and which will respond to the new challenges in Chiapas. One which will allow us to orient programs directed towards fighting poverty, promoting investment in productive resources and the use of natural, human and social resources in keeping with the particular profiles of different regions.

We will not only work inside Chiapas, it will also be a priority to position the state favorably in the South Southeastern region of our country, and to take advantage of its strategic position as border and as entrance and departure point to Central America, with whom we will make joint efforts to promote the development of our economies and to find a favorable solution for the problems which we also share.

On August 20, we Chiapanecos put an end to the political system of domination which has prevailed in Chiapas for so many decades.

Under shelter of that system, an exclusionary and authoritarian social and economic structure was built. Rules were imposed which were obligatory only for the poor, not for the powerful. Under the shade of that political system, an infinity of outrages and abuses were committed. Indians were discriminated against. Human Rights were violated. Expulsions were permitted and, often, promoted. Citizens' participation was inhibited, and the right to vote was violated. The media was shackled and controlled. Journalists were persecuted, and their lives were done away with. In short, an authoritarian and repressive program was developed, and a culture of exclusion and intolerance was adopted.

This government will set as a fundamental task the elaboration of new laws of coexistence, made by everyone, in order to be respected by everyone, which will lead us to the building of a true state of law, which preserves the powers of the state, and which, at the same time, safeguards individual guarantees and human rights.

The new Government of Chiapas will behave in strict accordance with the law and with total respect for human rights. It will not allow officials and public servants to act with impunity, especially those with ties to the legal and judicial system.

No one will impose their terms on others. There will be no expulsions of political activists. We will promote a new citizens' culture, characterized by civility, respect for those who are different and acceptance of diversity, ethnicity, gender and age.

We will work towards the establishment of an agreement whose purpose will be reconciling social and political relationships in the state.

There have been few demands as intense and frequent as those regarding the administration of justice. The people are very disillusioned at what they see and at what goes on in this arena. The people complain, the people murmur, the people say softly and out loud that, as far as the procurement of justice is concerned, we are at rock bottom on almost all levels.

There are only than two paths here. Either we pay attention to those who are hurting, and we do something, or we pay attention to those who say that it is not true, and we do nothing. It is not a matter, however, of merely choosing between the majority opinion or the judgment of a few. It is a matter of clarifying who is right, who has more information and facts in order to convince us that their belief is valid, the real one.

As far as we are concerned, there is no doubt. Those who are unfairly suffering from the imparting of justice are the ones who are speaking truthfully. This has led us to decide to take the great step forward of cleaning, once and for all, not the image, but the essence, of this system, which is so riddled with old and new corruptions.

If the people of Chiapas voted for anything, it was for change in this most basic issue. We are not going to let down the great expectations we have raised, and that is why we are announcing that, from here on, in front of this popular representation, we will make this arena once again cleaner, more efficient, faster and more professional.

Justice Reform is a demand which requires the redefinition of the entire justice system. Chiapas demands the formation of principles of a judicial system which is receptive to social changes, fully willing to be open in its responsibility to society and democratic institutions.

It is urgent that the tasks of imparting and administering justice be separated, in order to guarantee the independence of the Courts and the Judges in the exercise of their duties, since, without the complete independence of the judicial branch, there is no Constitutional State of Law.

To this end, I will be sending this sovereignty three proposals this Monday in order to create: the Judiciary Council, the Institute of Judicial Studies and the Fund Regulation for the Improvement of the Administration and Imparting of Justice, for the purpose of ending the discretionary management of those funds.

The price is paid in blood when one does not want to pay the price of reason. And reason, in our case, indicates that the true basis of healthy coexistence is justice. What is serious is when we allow anyone to make justice in his own way, since it is very difficult to reinsert that most essential attribute into the modern State. For years and years in Chiapas we have been allowing, and at times encouraging and fostering, this distortion of justice. Only the law says what it is, and only legitimately established power applies it and makes it valid. Such principles must be irrevocable for those who truly seek the rule of lasting order in our state, an order which does not crush, an order which does not perpetuate the injustice which is everywhere evident.

No more spilled blood. And even less the spilled blood of innocents, of so many countrymen who, with their eyes open or with their eyes closed, with valid reasons or with simple pretexts, become involved in incidents with tragic consequences. It hurts us as if it were our hurt, because it is ours, the blood of any Chiapaneco man or woman. I give my word that I will do everything I can to prevent the conflicts from continuing to be the source of those consequences, but it is obvious that this depends on more than the will of the Executive. Those who have been directly participating in these "cuts and thrusts" must agree, as must those who have been manipulating these disputes. If we were nai:ve, we might think that this call by itself would clear the way, and that we would soon have better levels of political stability and social tranquillity. We are not nai:ve. That is why we will be accompanying our words of good faith with far-reaching actions which will discourage partisans of violence, and which will convince the majority that this is not the means for resolving problems.

We already know that, as is natural, it is factionalism which has, up until now, almost always led to deaths. We do not want things to work the other way around now, and that the other side be the one to make its contributions. Sincerely, we do not want any more deaths, from whichever side. We are guided by a thirst for justice, not a stupid desire for revenge. One must not play or be irresponsible with the lives of countrymen, regardless of their political attachment. We will not traffic in anyone's good faith.

We have opened a broad space, as broad as necessary for those dissenting to sit down and , without restrictions, to discuss their differences of opinion, and for the government, face to face with them and after having listened to them, to make the decisions it considers advisable in order to go about closing those old wounds.

No more blood. Acteal was a critical event, summary and synthesis of our furies, but not, unfortunately, the last act of violence in Chiapas. We must leave that stage behind us, reach a new phase in our institutional life in order to resolve, in a civilized manner, that which confronts us, instead of allowing barbarism to continue deciding for us.

A genuine reunion of Chiapas society with itself requires that all of us learn the truth about Acteal, El Bosque and the paramilitary gangs.

We see with optimism the new signals the federal government has sent regarding the peace process. The beginning of the repositioning of Mexican Army troops is a positive sign, which is once again opening the possibility of the reestablishment of dialogue and negotiation between the EZLN and the government of the Republic.

I reiterate my commitment that the new government of Chiapas will strive to create conditions which will facilitate the renewal of that dialogue.

To that end, I wish to announce that I will be sending for publication in the official journal the decree abolishing the State Council and Commission for the redistricting of Chiapas. These bodies of political intermediation, whose decisions are without legal basis, have turned into one of the primary obstacles for the peace process in the state.

I similarly reiterate my determination to take whatever steps necessary, and to exhaust all legal channels, in order to obtain the release of all prisoners of conscience who are in the state's jails, and to cancel unjust arrest warrants against social leaders. I specifically am instructing the Attorney General in this act to promote the establishment and installation of the Commission which will pass judgement on the situation of the zapatista prisoners and, in their case, grant them the entitlement of being released with a suspended sentence.

There will be no true peace without justice in everything and for everyone.

For many years we have lived in deception: we say that there is law and that the law counts, but the law has, in fact, counted very little, or there has simply been no law. There are temporary arrangements that allow us to sort out difficulties and to move on from one situation to another, leaving the causes of our serious social conflicts untouched.

Many of those who condemned the war of '94 never raised their voices to condemn the false peace of our entire history. One does not go to war as if to a day in the country. Those who had no other solution went to war, those who were driven by hunger, authoritarianism, desperation, those who thought that in that way they would be opening a path for social revindication for the poor, those who grew tired of waiting, of seeking, of negotiating, of promoting, and who only found in surmountable walls for their yearning. Those who wanted authentic democracy, peace in truth, liberty without obstacles, a patria that reached everyone, went to war.

For those who went to war and died or survived, for those who did not go to war and who died years before from the silent pain of hunger, for those who will not go to war and who do not want to die of the same thing: for those we are here, for those we are government, and for those, unseen majority, we are going to govern from this moment on.

We have more heartbreaks now than we had six years ago, we must recognize that. But it would be unfair to say that it is the fault of that war which achieved a cease-fire in just a few days. No. The gravity of our disagreements does not come from that fact: it comes from a combination of factors, among those which predominate are the failure of the federal government to fulfill the San Andre's Accords and its complacent behavior, openly coexisting with officials and power bases in the state which were geared towards undermining zapatista support bases. What was the result of this public conduct? Was it the end of the war, perhaps, or, even further, the resolution of the conflict? No, of course not. The war of those who accepted the cessation of hostilities could not fight the war in the shadows of those who were risking nothing. They foolishly wanted to fight the armed communities by giving war supplies to those communities which had not wanted to be involved in those actions. The State, then, stripped itself of one of its essential attributes and allowed or encouraged, as appropriate, the emergence of anti-zapatista vandalism. With the monopoly of public force lost, anyone could knock someone off with whatever knife he found and impose his conditions or make arrangements outside the law with various organizations and groups.

We did not resolve the heart of the war, and, on the contrary, social discord was encouraged. Disagreements became deeper, they were made larger, stronger. This is what we received, this is the legacy of those who governed who did not assume their role, and, instead of facing the real origin of the conflict, went for the superficial and believed that the bad was in the rebels, and not in the rebels' real causes and not in the real causes of the insurrection. Days which go by without a solution increase the appetite for revenge by the aggrieved. I know this. The weeks which pass, the months, the years: the accumulation of lost time increases the unchecked impulses of the damaged communities. Because of that, the task of reconciliation is very urgent. We will gain nothing if we reach the signing of peace over the ruins on what we once were.

And, since we are on the razor's edge, it is with the absolute responsibility in my role as governor of the State that I am calling on all forces, on all social groups, on the most diverse organizations, to take our hands out of these cuts and thrusts which have done us so much damage, so that we can proceed to give ourselves a truce. Zero behaviors outside the law, zero temptations to take the law into one's own hands. Our state has many fronts open for us to continue the task of attacking each other, of naively believing that we have to fight the arms of zapatismo with the weapons of anti-zapatismo.

And, if we do not find a favorable response to our call, I am warning that I will raise our objective through other means, because it is no longer possible to continue eroding those fragile balances which are still left to the state and the scant reserves thousands and thousands of Chiapanecos, tired of demanding justice, still have.

If there is no justice, there will be no peace, whether or not there is pacification, a ruinous pacification, unstable by nature, ephemeral par excellence, and costly, costly in its social price and even in the arena of budgetary expenditures. Justice so there will be peace, a peace which lasts, of which we will feel proud, not a pacification which disappears with a gust of wind and of which we are ashamed. That is what we want. That is what, with everyone, we will make: justice, foundation and seed of the peace that drives us so strongly.

Friends:

Today, in front of the people who elected me, in front of the President of the Republic, I say that I shall know how to fulfill my responsibility: the responsibility for making our dreams come true and giving our words substance. I will govern without embarrassing you and without humiliating you, I will govern with no other desire than that of serving the well-being of the most needy, I will govern without forgetting my origins, I come from the people and I am going to devote myself to the people. I will govern with the private, with the public, conviction that what gives our lives a higher meaning is that which we call dignity, the dignity our parents had in order to make their way under difficult conditions, the dignity which will, through our example, serve our children so they deserve this beautiful, long-suffering, generous land. I will govern with the certainty that there will be no lasting supports for our coexistence if there is no justice, the justice established in the law, law which does not confer privileges.

It is on us, and on the backing of the government of the Republic, that the meaning our lives takes depends. Either we are capable of responding to problems in-depth, or we will continue to sink under the wave of small changes, thinking we are floating. We must decide what we want. Whether the daily sowing of deaths, or the great sowing of peace, of authentic solidarity, of democracy, of liberty and of justice. Whether the interminable hustle and bustle of pressure groups, or putting in place great actions which respond to the old demands of the social forces of the state. Whether the artificial stability of small agreements, or healthy coexistence arising from large pacts which encompass a long range horizon. Whether the indefinite postponement of our valid demands of the Federation in exchange for meager funds here and there, or settling the fundamental through commitments which are an expression of justice in the treatment we demand and we deserve. That is what we must resolve.

On our part, there is no doubt: we want justice for all and peace which lasts. We yearn for well-being for that malnourished majority which, one century after another and another, has existed in marginalization. We are seeking, not just a respite from the nightmares, but a way of living, of being in the world, of coexisting with others, beyond religious or political beliefs, social status or any kind of considerations. This is what we want, and our commitment is nothing else.

Time is pressing. How much suffering might have been averted these last years if there had been another attitude towards the EZLN's demands. But discord was allowed to become entrenched, to insinuate itself into the hearts of the communities. This was a consequence of the federal government's failure to honor their word committed in the San Andre's Accords, as we warned time and again. Let the conflict disintegrate, let it be forgotten, they thought. Years went by and there has been no disintegration, nor has there been forgetting. The conflict is there, alive, alive, in all its parts, and intact in the renewed memory of our people. The passing of the years does not resolve one single problem, even less so an uprising of the proportions reached by the one which took place on the first of January of 1994.

Because of that, we can now do no less than welcome the willingness, with effective acts, of President Vicente Fox to re-open the body of honorable negotiation. And then we also greet, with jubilation, the response given by the EZLN for reaching a peaceful solution. There do not have to be any insurmountable obstacles for the parties to sit down to negotiate once again. We are witnessing with optimism this new stage which is already beginning. And, above all, we affirm that the state government will do everything in its power in order to facilitate a climate of de'tente which will contribute to the effort by the parties to seek a definitive solution to the conflict. It gives us much joy that the federal government has designated as their commissioner an upright man, a fighter for democracy, of the moral caliber of Don Luis H. A'lvarez.

With good faith and absolute willingness by the parties, conditions are different today. Everything depends on what the hearts and minds of men decide, for things to become complicated or to be simplified, to worsen or to be eased. We are taking the proper route. We are confident that these first signs will be seconded by other new ones, we are confident that the parties will quickly sit down to the table, we are confident that they will not finally get up until they have extended their hands instead of turning their backs. We are absolutely confident, and we know, that our hope will not be made a mockery of today, that the suffering of the Chiapanecos will no longer be interminably drawn out.

Fellow countrywomen and countrymen:

I call on you to march, united, towards the achievement of more dignified living conditions. I call on you for us to inaugurate, with everyone and among everyone, a new phase in our history.

Let us leave hate behind and let us bury rancor.

Let us conquer despair and bitterness.

Let us be resolved to build the house which we will bequeath to generations yet to come. A clean house, a decent house, a house where there is room for the dignity of women and men who raise their dreams and their hopes here, a house without the shadows of injustice, a house lit up with the smiles of our children, a house illuminated by the pride, the efforts and the work of our young persons and adults, a house calmed by the dignity of our old ones.

We are going to fight day and night for that house which is Chiapas.

We will work with resolution and determination, with strength and with the absolute conviction that, in the end, everyone, reconciled, will emerge triumphant.

This was the generous home of our parents and grandparents. Here they said their word and they counted out their days and their efforts. Here they experienced hardships and pleasures. Here are their challenges, their ashes, here, under the earth, are our memories, and here, above the land that was theirs, our honest and clean effort shall grow. We will do it in their memory and for the good of our project.

Dialogue and honorable negotiation, word given and word fulfilled. Agreements which go further than ourselves and which give new meaning to our values and core principles. That is what we want. That is what we will have.

And so the long night of our fights and our disagreements will be over, with our work in solidarity the sun of justice shall shine again.

Let our hope live!

Viva Chiapas! Viva Me'xico! Viva Chiapas!


Tuxtla Gutie'rrez, Chiapas.
December 8, 2000.

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