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Palabra del Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional


Words of the EZLN during the Mobilization in Support of the National March for Peace

Words of the EZLN during the Mobilization in Support of the National March for Peace

May 7, 2011

Mothers, fathers, relatives, and friends of the victims of war in Mexico:

Compañeros and Compañeras of the Zapatista support bases of the different zones, regions, towns, and Zapatista Autonomous Municipalities in Rebellion:

Compañeros and Compañeras of the Other Campaign and adherents of the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle in Mexico and around the World:

Compañeros  and Compañeras of the Sixth International:

Brothers and Sisters of the different social organizations:

Brothers and Sisters of the non-governmental and human rights defense organizations:

People of Mexico and People of the World:

Sisters and Brothers:

Compañeros and Compañeras:

Today we are here, thousands of men, women, children, and elders of the Zapatista Army for National Liberation, to give our small word:

Today we are here because people of noble heart and firm dignity have called on us to demonstrate for the cessation of thewar that has filled Mexican soil with sadness, pain, and indignation.

Because we feel called by the clamor for justice of the mothers and fathers of the children who were murdered by bullets as well as by the arrogance and stupidity of the bad governments.

Because we feel called by the dignified rage of the mothers and fathers of the young people murdered by criminal gangs as well as by government cynicism.

Because we feel convoked by the families of the dead, wounded, mutilated, disappeared, kidnapped, and jailed who are guilty of nothing.

And this is what their words and their silences tell us:

That the history of Mexico has been stained with innocent blood.

That dozens of thousands of people have died in this absurd war that is going nowhere.

That peace and justice is not found in any corner of our country.

That the only fault of these victims is having been born or having lived in a country badly governed by legal and illegal groups, thirsty for war, death, and destruction.

That this war has had as its principal military target innocent victims, of all social classes, that have nothing to do with narco-traficking nor with governmental forces.

That the bad governments, all of them—federal, state, and municipal—have converted the streets into war zones without the agreement or safeguarding of those who walk and work in those streets.

That the bad governments have converted into war zones public and private schools and universities, where children and young people do not walk into class but rather into ambushes from one or another faction.

That places for gathering and fun are now military objectives.

That going to work now carries the anxiety of not knowing what might happen, not knowing if a bullet, be it from a criminal or from the government, will spill one’s blood or that of a relative or friend.

That the bad governments created the problem and not only have they not resolved it, but they have deepened and extended it throughout all of Mexico.

That there is so much pain from so much unnecessary death.

That the war must be stopped.

That there must be no more blood.

That we’ve had it.

That that is enough.

The words and silences of these good people do not represent the bad governments.

They do not represent the criminals that steal, displace, kidnap, and kill.

Neither do they represent those from the political class that intend to profit from this national disgrace.

The words and the silences are of simple, hardworking, honest people.

They do not want personal benefit.

They only want justice and that the pain they have felt and continue to feel not come to the hearts of other mothers, fathers, relatives, friends, of children, young people, adults, and elders that have done nothing but try to live, learn, work, and move forward with dignity.

That is, these words and silences and the actions of these good people demand something very simple: a life with peace, justice, and dignity.

And how does the government respond?

The mothers and fathers of the small children that were hurt or killed in the fire through the fault of the bad government demand that justice be done, that the guilty be punished—even if they are relatives or friends of the government—and that such a crime is not repeated so that other fathers and mothers do not have to die the death of their sons and daughters.

And the government responds with declarations and false promises, trying to tire them out so that they forget this disgrace, and that this disgrace is forgotten.

The families and friends of the students murdered in a private university demand that what happened be made known and justice be done and the crime of converting centers of study into battle fields is not repeated so that other families and friends, teachers and fellow pupils do not have to die the deaths of the students.

And the government responds with declarations and false promises, trying to tire them out so that they forget this disgrace, and that this disgrace is forgotten.

The inhabitants of an honest and hard-working community, created according to its own plan, organizes itself to construct and defend the peace that they need, combating the crime that the government protects. Their families and friends ask for justice and that the crime of killing work and honesty is not repeated, so that other families and friends do not have to die the death of those who work for the collective.

And the government responds with declarations and false promises, trying to tire them out so that they forget this disgrace, and that this disgrace is forgotten.

Some young people, good students and good athletes, get together to have fun or go out or talk, and a criminal game attacks the place and murders them. And the government kills them again in its declaration that these young people were criminals that were attacked by other criminals. The mothers and fathers of these young people demand justice and that the crime of not protecting young people and of accusing them unjustly of being delinquents is not repeated, so that other mothers and fathers do not die the death, two times, of their blood that was born to live.

And the government responds with declarations and false promises, trying to tire them out so that they forget this disgrace, and that this disgrace is forgotten.

Compañeros  and Compañeras:

Brothers and Sisters:

A few days ago a father who is a poet, some mothers, some fathers, some relatives, some brothers and sisters, some friends, some acquaintances, some human beings, began a walk in silence.

Yesterday we heard their dignified words, today is their dignified silence.

Their words and their silences say the same: we want peace and justice, that is, a dignified life.

These honest people are asking, requiring, demanding of the government a plan that has as its principal objectives life, liberty, justice, and peace.

And the government responds that it will continue with its plan that has as its principal objective death and impunity.

These people are not attempting to become part of the government, but rather that the government procure and care for the life, liberty, justice, and peace of the governed.

Their struggle is not born of personal interest.

It is born of the pain of losing someone they loved as much as they love life.

The governments and their politicians say that criticizing or not agreeing with what they are doing is agreeing with the criminals.

The governments say that the only good strategy is the one that bloodies the streets and the countryside of Mexico, destroying families, communities, and the country as a whole.

But those who have law and force on their side argue only to impose their individual reason and truth, supported by those laws and that force.

It is not the reason of any individual or group which should be imposed, but rather the collective reason of the whole society.

And the reason/truth of a society is constructed with legitimacy, argument, reasoning, capacity to convoke, and agreements.

Because whoever imposes their own reason/truth only divides and confronts, and is thus incapable of collective reason and therefore must take refuge in law and force.

A law that only serves to guarantee impunity to relatives and friends.

A force that has been corrupt for awhile now.

A law and a force that serve to dispossess dignified work in order to conceal ineptitudes, to slander, pursue, incarcerate, and kill those who question or oppose that reason, that law, and that force.

To fear the word of the people and see in every criticism, doubt, questioning, or complaint an attempt at overthrow is the character of dictators and tyrants.

To see in every dignified pain a threat is characteristic of those sick with power and greed.

And wrong does the ruler who tells his soldiers and police that to listen to noble and good people is a failure.

That to detain a massacre is a defeat.

That to correct an error is to give up.

That to think of and search for better paths to better serve the people is to shamefully abandon a struggle.

Because knowing how to listen with humility and attention to what the people say is a virtue of good government.

Because knowing how to listen to and attend to what the people keep quiet is the virtue of wise and honest people.

Compañeros and Compañeras:

Brothers and Sisters:

Today we are not here to talk of our own pain, our struggles, our dreams, our lives and our deaths.

Today we are not here to signal paths, nor to tell anyone what to do, nor to respond to the question of what happens next.

Today we are here representing dozens of thousands of indigenous Zapatistas, many more than you see here, in order to say to this dignified silent step:

That in their demand of justice…

That in their struggle for life…

That in their yearning for peace…

That in their demand for liberty…

We, the Zapatistas, understand and support them.

Today we are here to respond to the call of those who struggle for life.

And to whom the bad government has responded with death.

Because that is what this is about, Compañeros and Compañeras.

Of a struggle for life and against death.

It is not about seeing who wins between Catholics, Evangelicals, Mormons, Presbyterians, or whatever religion or non-believers.

It is not about who is indigenous and who isn’t.

It is not about who is richer or who is poorer.

It is not about who is on the left, the center, or the right.

It is not about if the panistas or the priistas or the perredistas or whoever is better or if all are equally bad.

It is not about who is Zapatista and who is not.

It is not about being on the side of organized crime or on the side of disorganized crime which is the bad government.


What it is about is that in order for everyone to be able to be what they choose to be, to believe or not believe, to choose an ideological, political, or religious belief, to be able to discuss, agree, or disagree, what is necessary is peace, liberty, justice, and life.

Compañeros and Compañeras:

Brothers and Sisters:

These noble people are not asking or trying to convince us to be part of a religion, an idea, a political line, or a social position.

They are not calling for the removal of one government to substitute another.

They are not telling us that we must vote for one or the other.

These people are convoking us to struggle for life.

And there can only be life if there is liberty, justice, and peace.

That is why this is a struggle between those who want life and those who want death.

And we, the Zapatistas, choose to struggle for life, that is, for justice, liberty, and peace.

That is why…

Today we are here simply to say to these good people that walk in silence, that they are not alone.

That we hear the pain of their silence, like before we heard the dignified rage of their words.

That in their ‘stop the war’…

That in their ‘no more blood’…

That in their ‘we’ve had it’…

They are not alone!

Compañeros and Compañeras:

Sisters and Brothers:

Long live life, liberty, justice, and peace!

Death to death!

Everything for everyone, nothing for us!


From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast

For the Indigenous Revolutionary Clandestine Committee. General Command of the Zapatista Army for National Liberation
Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos.
Mexico, May 7, 2011.


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