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25 years later: First statement by the #EZLN – The Uprising of Dignity – The Zapatista Movement in #Chiapas

In the night of December 31, January first of 1993/1994 the Zapatist uprising started on the Chiapas territory. Here is the first statement by the EZLN from December 31, 1993. Published on January 1, 1994. We added the video The Uprising of Dignity – The Zapatista Movement in Chiapas / Mexico.

Originally published by Enlace Zapatista. Translated by Struggle.

Note: Enough is Enough is not organizing any of these events, we are publishing this text for people across the US and Europe to be able to see what is going on and for documentation only.

TO THE PEOPLE OF MEXICO:
MEXICAN BROTHERS AND SISTERS:

We are a product of 500 years of struggle: first against slavery, then during the War of Independence against Spain led by insurgents, then to avoid being absorbed by North American imperialism, then to promulgate our constitution and expel the French empire from our soil, and later the dictatorship of Porfirio Diaz denied us the just application of the Reform laws and the people rebelled and leaders like Villa and Zapata emerged, poor men just like us. We have been denied the most elemental preparation so they can use us as cannon fodder and pillage the wealth of our country. They don’t care that we have nothing, absolutely nothing, not even a roof over our heads, no land, no work, no health care, no food nor education. Nor are we able to freely and democratically elect our political representatives, nor is there independence from foreigners, nor is there peace nor justice for ourselves and our children.

But today, we say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

We are the inheritors of the true builders of our nation. The dispossessed, we are millions and we thereby call upon our brothers and sisters to join this struggle as the only path, so that we will not die of hunger due to the insatiable ambition of a 70 year dictatorship led by a clique of traitors that represent the most conservative and sell-out groups. They are the same ones that opposed Hidalgo and Morelos, the same ones that betrayed Vicente Guerrero, the same ones that sold half our country to the foreign invader, the same ones that imported a European prince to rule our country, the same ones that formed the “scientific” Porfirsta dictatorship, the same ones that opposed the Petroleum Expropriation, the same ones that massacred the railroad workers in 1958 and the students in 1968, the same ones the today take everything from us, absolutely everything.

To prevent the continuation of the above and as our last hope, after having tried to utilize all legal means based on our Constitution, we go to our Constitution, to apply Article 39 which says:

“National Sovereignty essentially and originally resides in the people. All political power emanates from the people and its purpose is to help the people. The people have, at all times, the inalienable right to alter or modify their form of government.”

Therefore, according to our constitution, we declare the following to the Mexican federal army, the pillar of the Mexican dictatorship that we suffer from, monopolized by a one-party system and led by Carlos Salinas de Gortari, the maximum and illegitimate federal executive that today holds power.

According to this Declaration of War, we ask that other powers of the nation advocate to restore the legitimacy and the stability of the nation by overthrowing the dictator.

We also ask that international organizations and the International Red Cross watch over and regulate our battles, so that our efforts are carried out while still protecting our civilian population. We declare now and always that we are subject to the Geneva Accord, forming the EZLN as our fighting arm of our liberation struggle. We have the Mexican people on our side, we have the beloved tri-colored flag highly respected by our insurgent fighters. We use black and red in our uniform as our symbol of our working people on strike. Our flag carries the following letters, “EZLN,” Zapatista National Liberation Army, and we always carry our flag into combat.

Beforehand, we refuse any effort to disgrace our just cause by accusing us of being drug traffickers, drug guerrillas, thieves, or other names that might by used by our enemies. Our struggle follows the constitution which is held high by its call for justice and equality.

Therefore, according to this declaration of war, we give our military forces, the EZLN, the following orders:

First: Advance to the capital of the country, overcoming the Mexican federal army, protecting in our advance the civilian population and permitting the people in the liberated area the right to freely and democratically elect their own administrative authorities.

Second: Respect the lives of our prisoners and turn over all wounded to the International Red Cross.

Third: Initiate summary judgments against all soldiers of the Mexican federal army and the political police that have received training or have been paid by foreigners, accused of being traitors to our country, and against all those that have repressed and treated badly the civil population and robbed or stolen from or attempted crimes against the good of the people.

Fourth: Form new troops with all those Mexicans that show their interest in joining our struggle, including those that, being enemy soldiers, turn themselves in without having fought against us, and promise to take orders from the General Command of the Zapatista National Liberation Army.

Fifth: We ask for the unconditional surrender of the enemy’s headquarters before we begin any combat to avoid any loss of lives.

Sixth: Suspend the robbery of our natural resources in the areas controlled by the EZLN.

To the People of Mexico: We, the men and women, full and free, are conscious that the war that we have declared is our last resort, but also a just one. The dictators are applying an undeclared genocidal war against our people for many years. Therefore we ask for your participation, your decision to support this plan that struggles for work, land, housing, food, health care, education, independence, freedom, democracy, justice and peace. We declare that we will not stop fighting until the basic demands of our people have been met by forming a government of our country that is free and democratic.

JOIN THE INSURGENT FORCES OF THE ZAPATISTA NATIONAL LIBERATION ARMY.

General Command of the EZLN

1993


Video: The Uprising of Dignity The Zapatista Movement in Chiapas / Mexico

On the first of January 1994 – under the motto „Ya Basta!” – „Enough!” – thousands of indigenous men and women occupied seven cities in the southern Mexican state Chiapas.The Zapatistas (named after the revolutionary Emilio Zapata (1879-1919)) fought a two week armed struggle against corruption, racism, and repression. Since then they have used peaceful civilian means to improve the living conditions of the population. The Zapatistas occupied areas owned by large landowners, divided the land between thousands of families and have been building autonomous civil structures ever since.

The Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) rebellion was for land rights, health, education, freedom, democracy, peace and justice. The Zapatista movement does not seek to take control of the state. Instead the organisation demanded a profound democratisation of the whole country and a rejection of neoliberal economic policy. The local and national political leaders are still reacting with miltary force, repression and disinformaion campaigns. The EZLN sees its rebellion in a global context, and in 1996 called for the formation of an “International of Hope” in order to fight together with other movements for a solidary society and the preservation of nature.

In 2005, the EZLN launched its latest initiative („The Other Campaign”), the objectives being a new constitution for Mexico and the strengthening of the global resistance to capitalism. In a long term mobilization independent organizations are to build an extra-parliamentary alliance in order to create a new left and anti-capitalist alternative.

The documentary provides an introduction to the topic, insights into the self-administering structures in the areas of health, education, agriculture and collective work, as well as an explanation of the Zapatista politics. Thirdly, the difficulties are discussed – both within the movement as well as in relation to the government. Contributions are made from scientists, human rights activists and journalists and particularly from women and men from the roots of the Zapatista movement.


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2 thoughts on “25 years later: First statement by the #EZLN – The Uprising of Dignity – The Zapatista Movement in #Chiapas

  1. […] were the opening lines of the first public statement by the National Liberation Zapatista Army (EZLN), published on the day of the upris…, when the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) came into effect. The agreement drove the […]

  2. […] of Chiapas, past the Mexican state’s military outposts, and toward the autonomous communities of the Zapatistas, a movement which erupted onto the world stage on January 1st, 1994. That day, they proclaimed their resistance to centuries of exploitation and abuse, and denounced […]

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