A Letter to Luis Hector Alvarez Alvarez*
ZAPATISTA NATIONAL LIBERATION ARMY
November – December 2012
“Almost all men prefer to deny the truth before confronting it,” Tyrion Lannister to Jon Snow.
“If he has nothing to fear, a coward doesn’t distinguish himself in anything brave. And we all fulfill our duty when it costs us nothing. At those moments, following the path of honor seems very simple to us. But in the life of all man, sooner or later, a day arrives in which it’s not so simple, on which one must choose,” Maestre Aemon Targaryen to Jon Snow.
For: Luis Hector Alvarez Alvarez, someplace in Mexico (I hope).
From: Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos. Chiapas, México.
Errr… Permit me a moment, Señor Alvarez, this part is to explain a little about where the epigraphs come from: The quotes are from the book: A Song of Ice and Fire. Volume I: Game of Thrones. 1996. George R.R. Martin. The television series Games of Thrones, which takes its name from the first volume of the saga, no está nada mal (Peter Hayden Dinklage, who gives image and voice to Tyrion Lannister, stands out, paradoxically, above the other actors and actresses; Jon Snow is interpreted by Kit Harington, and Maestre Aemon Targaryen by Peter Vaughan) and the first 2 seasons can be had a moderate price with your favorite film seller (say yes to piracy).
The DVD that I saw was an involuntary gift of the informal commerce on Eje Central, México D.F., (in other words, someone bought it there and sent it to me)… oops, the DF’s government of the “left” is going to apply Article 362 to me, because, accepting it, it applies to everything (they would be the envy of Gustavo Díaz Ordaz… oh, oh, that Article was proposed in 2002 by the then head of the DF’s government, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, and approved by the ALDF with a PRD majority… hmm… don’t put in this part… they are not going to say that I am at the service of the right… they already see that it has always worried me in the extreme what is said about me.)
The image has a lot of pixels, but you can see and hear it well. A good price, they tell me; anyhow, cheaper than paying for HBO, and without the anxiety of having to wait for the following week to know what happened with little Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright), or with the dazzling Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke).
Nevertheless, I would also recommend reading the books -yes, I already know that the six-year fashion is not to read books and that hair gel is cheaper-, but an advantage is that one can take a course in practical philosophy (ah, las paradoxes) with the dialogues of Tyrion Lannister (according to what they tell me, is a literary projection of Mr. George R. R. Martin). Another advantage is that you can “spoilear”  (or how do you say it) without risk on his favorite blogs. Although the enmity of many will be earned, your points (although negative) for postear  will go up appreciably. That so, do not abuse, because if it occurs to them to say that in “Dance of Dragons”… ok… ok…ok… l shut up… say no to spoil.
Sincerely: Marquitos Spoil.
Señor Alvarez Alvarez:
This is not only to reaffirm what the multitudinous silence of December 21 ought to have made clear to you, to the political class and to the National Action government, in general, and to Felipe Calderón Hinojosa in particular: You failed.
Oh, there is no drama. Other governments had already attempted it before… and they will continue attempting it.
But, Señor Alvarez, you should not look for your failure in us, not even in the little professionalism of your not intelligent intelligence service (although now you know that they were and are shameless). To whom does it occur that a Zapatista, any of us, would go to a government of criminals to ask for help if he were sick? Who can rationally think that the Zapatistas rose up for money?
Only the mentality of a passé conquistador (whose best example is Diego Fernández de Cevallos) that you implant in your political party, National Action, could have permitted swallowing that mill wheel with enthusiasm.
And intelligence was not needed, but just minimally reading the newspapers or listening to the news: the rascals that introduced themselves to you as “close friends of Sup Marcos,” are the same ones that simulated a surrender and “delivery of weapons” to the ominous Croquetas Albores in 1998, simulating being Zapatistas, and that some are known swindlers that no longer deceive anyone… well, you yes. How much did they get? The difference is that Croquetas knew that it was a pantomime and paid for it (and so that the media would present the Jataté bathing spa, on the outskirts of the municipal seat of Ocosingo, as if it were “in the Lacandón Jungle”), and they not only deceived you, but you even put it in your book.
And not content with that, you invite Felipe Calderón Hinojosa to the presentation of that book, drunk with blood and alcohol, who not only babbled incoherencies, he also distributed the stenographic version to the media. For sure the media charged double: not for publishing it, but for not publishing it, since the state of inebriation of the one who proffered those words was made patent. I believe that it’s clear now that Felipe Calderón Hinojosa lied up to the last minute and that it was a brazen invention that he points to in his last government report. The only approach that his government had with “representatives and commanders of the EZLN” was that of his armies, police, judges and paramilitaries.
But, good, now you know, Señor Alvarez, what it is to be scorned for what the implacable calendar wears.
As indigenous, the elderly are scorned. And as a symbol of that scorn, goes the money for alms, or, in their case, the offense of deceit, the insult of being ignored and the behind-the-back jokes.
But there is a difference, a small difference, but one of those that make the wheel of history go round: while you paid (with money that wasn’t yours, by the way) for being ridiculed (and even made a book); we, indigenous and Zapatista, we punish their scorn with our silence and prolonged moving.
Because we know very well that they also sold you on the idea that you will be remembered for your struggle for democracy (in reality, your struggle for power, but there above they are accustomed to inverting both terms), but no. Although small, you could also be remembered for having been an accomplice (or an official, it’s the same) of the most criminal government that, since Porfirio Díaz, this country has suffered.
And around here, in indigenous Zapatista lands, you could be remembered as part of a government that mostly tried to make us give up (or buying us off, it’s the same) and, as has been evident by the thunderous silence of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Altamirano, Las Margaritas, Palenque and Ocosingo, you failed once more.
Because the political class and those who live from its stupidity, will have died off without anyone taking them into account (if perhaps, just to give thanks that they no longer obstruct), and there will be nothing, but one more number on the long list of those duped by the dream of being “historic.”
And you see that we do not question your morality. It is known that all criminal gangs, like the one that you served all these years, look for one who would present a good and kindly face, so that, with that face as an alibi, they hide their predatory identity.
I believe that you already knew that Señor Alvarez. In the above of every political spectrum, all are equal. Although some ingenious ones will even come to discover that they suffer injustice in their own flesh, while they ignore it when that injustice was being distributed daily in other geographies near or far.
Your compañeros in the party, who profited from the blood of innocents, and now lament that for the market there was one who paid-cost more, all of them, are nothing but a row of criminals that made and make grotesque contortions to the foolish rhythm that the media frame for them.
Are you filled with pride at having been part of a team with a thug like Javier Lozano Alarcón, who had to be hidden in the Senate so as not to be called into account by justice? Do you feel good for having been the compañero of Juan Francisco Molinar Horcasitas, a criminal with his hands spotted with the blood of infants?
And, although at times the paradoxes are comical, others are tragic.
Your political party, National Action, was one of those who headed, since the dawn of 1994, the hysterical cries against our asking that we not be annihilated because we were threatening to plunge the country into a bloodbath. And it turned out that the acts of your government were those that extended the terror, the anguish, the destruction and death to all the corners of our already battered country.
And what do you say about when the members of your party’s bench (together with the PRI and PRD benches), voted against the San Andrés Accords for which you worked, warning that those accords meant the fragmentation of the country. And it has been your party, Señor Alvarez, who delivers a nation broken to bits.
But console yourself, Señor Alvarez, your zeal for passing into history will be compensated. You will have a place in line, yes, among those swindled by the jokers.
But also in the pages of the history and geography books, in the Zapatista schools, one paragraph will read:
“The bad government of Felipe Calderón Hinojosa is known as the one that brought absurd death to all the corners of Mexico, offered injustice to victims and victimizers, and left, as a bloody self-homage to the crime made co-government, his monument. If Porfirio Díaz left the Angel of Independence, Felipe Calderón left the Trail of Light (Estela de Luz). Without wanting it, both thus announced the end of a world, although they delayed and they will delay in understanding it.”
I suggest that you add an epilogue to your book. Something like: “I ought to recognize that one can be an extremely bad student of the indigenous Zapatista communities. Nevertheless I say, after listening to their thunderous silence, that I learned the principle: that it’s not important that we use bombs, bullets, clubs, coups, lies, projects, money, that we buy media so that they shout falsehoods and quiet the truth, the result is always the same: the Zapatistas don’t give up, don’t sell out, don’t surrender and… surprise! They don’t disappear.”
Because history, Señor Alvarez, will continue repeating itself once in a while: rebels will reappear in every corner and, perhaps, with them, their Marios Benedetti, their Marios Payeras, their Omars Cabezas and their Carlos Montemayor will appear. And perhaps the Eduardos Galeano of those rains will manage their accounts or not.
And there will also be windows, with or without frames.
And you, Señor Alvarez, will continue looking out, looking at us without seeing us, and hardly realizing that, in that looking out at the world to come, they are irremediably out.
I believe that you did not put it in your book, but you remember that once I told you the Zapatistas are worth a lot, but we don’t have a price. And “one must not confuse value and price” (no, that’s not what Karl Marx said, but rather Juan Manuel Serrat).
Nevertheless, Señor Alvarez, in memory of the moments of firm dignity that you had, and of which I was a witness when you worked on the Commission of Agreement and Pacification, you can still change that:
Leave your party and what it represents, abandon that political class that has done nothing but become an insatiable parasite. You are from Chihuahua. Go to the Sierra Tarahumara and ask that they give you entry to one of the Rarámuri communities. Perhaps they won’t let you stay. The very affectionate Ronco is no longer there to ask. But perhaps they let you be there a few days. There, with them, you will learn the fundamentals of the indigenous heart, about the struggle and hope of the original pueblos of Mexico. After all, isn’t that what your book is called?
Go, Señor Alvarez Alvarez, to that or any indigenous town that will accept you after renouncing what you are now. You will be respected there (not badly tolerated) for your age, and, above all, you will learn that, for the Indian peoples of Mexico, “dignity” is a verb that is conjugated in the present since more than 500 years ago… and what they lack.
Go, perhaps this is the day in which one must choose. And in your case it is not easy, because it’s about choosing between one world and another. May age or bad advice not stop you! Look at us, we are more than 500 years old and we are still learning.
If you don’t do it, at least you will have known for yourself the truth that is enclosed in the 17 syllables of that Haiku of Mario Benedetti:
“Who would say it, the truly weak never surrender”
Vale. Health and did you hear it? “There are few things / as deafening / as silence” (yes, also Haiku and also from Mario Benedetti).
From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast,
Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos.
Mexico, December 2012.
* Luis Hector Alvarez Alvarez (aka Luis H. Alvarez) is a Mexican politician belonging to the PAN political party. He was the federal government’s “Peace Commissioner” to Chiapas during the Vicente Fox presidency. During that time he distributed assistance funds to non-Zapatista and anti-Zapatista communities to either entice people away from the Zapatista organization or keep them from joining it. He published a book critical of the Zapatistas in 2012.
1. “Spoilear” is Spanglish for the verb to spoil.
2. “Postear” is Spanglish for the verb to post.
Originally Published in Spanish by Enlace Zapatista
English Translation: Chiapas Support Committee