WORDS OF THE EZLN AT THE CLOSING OF THE SECOND STAGE OF THE FIFTH CNI CONGRESS
ZAPATISTA NATIONAL LIBERATION ARMY
JANUARY FIRST, 2017
Sisters and Brothers of the National Indigenous Congress:
Compañeras, compañeros y compañeroas of the national and international SIXTH:
Peoples of Mexico and the world:
23 years ago we rose up in arms against oblivion.
The indignation and the desperation obliged us to be willing to die to live,
To live the only way that it’s worth living, with freedom, with justice, with democracy.
The people of Mexico looked at us and talked to us, told us that our struggle and our demands are just, but that they are not in agreement with violence.
Accordingly they left knowing the inhuman conditions of our life and our death, it was agreed everywhere that the causes of our uprising could not be questioned, although the form in which our disagreement manifested itself could.
Now the conditions of the people of Mexico in the countryside and the city are worse than 23 years ago.
The poverty, the desperation, the death, the destruction, are not only for those who originally populated these lands.
Now the disgrace reaches everyone.
The crisis also affects those who believed they were safe and thought that the nightmare was only for those who live and die below.
Governments come and go, with different colors and flags, and the only thing they do is to make things worse.
With their policies, the only thing they do is make misery, destruction and death reach more and more people.
Now our brothers and sisters from organizations, barrios, nations, tribes, and original peoples, organized in the National Indigenous Congress, have decided to shout their YA BASTA.
They have decided that they are not going to permit destroying our country to continue.
They have decided not to let the people and their history die because of the sickness that is the capitalist system.
A system that exploits, dispossesses, represses and scorns human beings and nature all over the world.
The National Indigenous Congress has decided to struggle to heal our soils and our skies.
And they have decided to do it through civilian and peaceful paths.
Their causes are just and undeniable.
Who now will question the path they have chosen and that is calling us all?
If there is no respect, if you do not say hello, if you do not support your struggle and the path you follow, then what message do you give as a society?
23 years ago we started our uprising, but our way was exclusive, not everyone could participate.
Now, the National Indigenous Congress calls us to a struggle in which we can all participate, all; Regardless of age, color, size, race, religion, language, pay, knowledge, physical strength, culture, sexual preference.
Those who live, fight and die in the countryside and in the city now have a path of struggle where they unite with others.
The struggle to which the National Indigenous Congress calls us and invites us is a struggle for life with freedom, justice, democracy and dignity.
Who dares to say that it is a bad fight?
It is time that all the working people, together with the native people, sheltered by the banner of the National Indigenous Congress, which is the flag of the native people, unite in this struggle which is for those who have nothing but pain, anger and despair.
It is the hour of the peoples, of everyone, of the countryside and of the city.
That’s what the National Indigenous Congress is telling us.
It is telling us that it is enough waiting for others to tell us what to do and how, that they want to lead us, that they want to deceive us with vain promises and lies.
It is telling us that everyone in their place, with their own way, at their own times, govern themselves. That the people themselves address themselves, no more lies, no more deceit, no more politicians who only see their government work as a way accumulating wealth by stealing, betraying, selling.
It is telling us that we must fight for truth and justice.
It is telling us that we must fight for democracy, which means that the people rule.
It is telling us that we must fight for freedom.
They are wise and know who are in the National Indigenous Congress.
They have been resisting and fighting for life for centuries,
They know of resistance, they know of rebellion, they know of struggle, they know of life.
They know who is responsible for the pains that affect everyone, everywhere, all the time.
The National Indigenous Congress, for this struggle that they commit to undertake, will be attacked, they will be slandered, they will want to divide it and they will want to buy it.
They will seek by all means for it to surrender, to be bought, to give up.
But they will not be able to.
We have been meeting for more than 20 years, and more than 500 years of knowing this destruction, death, contempt, robbery, exploitation, history.
Their strength, their decision, their commitment, does not come from themselves.
It comes from the organizations, neighborhoods, nations, tribes and native peoples in which they were born and formed.
We, the Zapatistas, prepared 10 years to start our struggle on January 1 23 years ago.
The National Indigenous Congress prepared 20 years to reach this day, and show us a good way.
Whether we follow it or not, will be decided by everyone.
The National Indigenous Congress is going to speak with truth; it will listen with attention.
It is not a game of struggle for the National Indigenous Congress.
They have told us that they are going for everything for everyone.
And that means that:
They are for respect for human rights.
They are for the liberation of all political prisoners.
They are for the living presentation of the missing and disappeared.
They are for justice for those who have been killed,
They are for truth and justice for the 46 absentees of Ayotzinapa.
They are for support of peasants and respect for mother earth.
They are for a decent home for everyone below.
They are for enough food for all the homeless.
They are for decent work and just salary for the workers of the countryside and the city.
They are for complete and free health care for all the workers.
They are for free, secular and scientific education.
They are for land belonging to those who work it.
They are for factory employees.
They are for shop and bank employees.
They are for the respect of alternative commerce, and small and medium commerce.
They are for the public and commercial transport for those who drive the vehicles.
They are for the field for the peasants.
They are for the city.
They are for the territory of the native peoples.
They are for autonomy.
They are for self-management.
They are for respect for every form of life.
They are for the arts and sciences.
They are for freedom of thought, of word, of creation.
They are for freedom, justice and democracy for Mexico from below.
That’s what they’re calling us to support.
Each one will be able to decide if this fight is good, if that idea is good, whether or not it responds to the call they make.
We, as Zapatistas, answer yes, we are with you, yes we will accompany the National Indigenous Congress.
We will see ways to support them with all our strength.
We will support you because the struggle you propose, sisters and brothers of the National Indigenous Congress, is perhaps the last chance that these soils and these skies will not disappear in the midst of destruction and death.
So we just have to tell them:
Listen to the heart, the pain and the rage that is in every corner of this country.
Walk and tremble this soil at its core with your steps.
Let the Mexican soil be astonished.
May the heavens look upon them with surprise and admiration!
May the peoples of the world learn from the example of the National Indigenous Congress and feel the courage to participate.
And above all, it does not matter what happens, it does not matter that they attack you with everything, do not give up, do not sell out, do not give in.
And above all, it doesn’t matter what happens or everything that they have against, it doesn’t matter that they attack you with everything, however don’t give up, don’t sell out, don’t give in.
From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast,
In the name of the women, men, children and elders of the EZLN,
Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés.
Mexico, January 2017