<i>"The Name of Our Country is América" - Simon Bolivar</i> The Narco News Bulletin<br><small>Reporting on the War on Drugs and Democracy from Latin America
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What We Want to Do

How We Are Going to Do It


By the Zapatista Army of National Liberation
Translated by Narco News

July 1, 2005

ZAPATISTA ARMY OF NATIONAL LIBERATION, MEXICO.

(SIXTH DECLARATION OF THE LACANDON JUNGLE)

V. WHAT WE WANT TO DO

(Translated by Narco News)

Well, now we are going to say what we want to do in the world and in Mexico, because we cannot look at everything that happens on our planet and just stay quiet, as if we are the only ones who are in the situation that we are in.

Well, to the world what we want is to say to you is: to all who resist and fight in your own ways and in your countries, that you are not alone, that we are the Zapatistas, and although we are very small we support you and we are going to see how to help you in your struggles and how to speak with you so we can learn, because, it’s clear, what we have learned is how to learn.

And we want to say to you, to the Latin American peoples, that, for us, we are proud to be part of you, although we are a small part. We remember well when years ago the continent was lit up by a light named Che Guevara, just as that light was named Bolívar beforehand, because, at times, the peoples take up a name in order to show that they carry a flag.

And we want to say to the people of Cuba, who already have spent years in your path of resistance, that you are not alone and that we do not agree with the blockade against you and that we are going to look for the way to send you something, even if it is just corn, to support your resistance.

And we want to say to the people of the United States that we don’t confuse you with the evil governments that you have and that harm the whole world, and that we know that there are North Americans who fight in your country and work in solidarity with the struggles of other peoples.

And we want to say to our Mapuche brothers and sisters in Chile that we see and we learn from your struggles.

And to the Venezuelan people, that we watch very carefully your way of defending your sovereignty and your right to be a nation and to decide where you will go.

And to the indigenous brothers and sisters of Ecuador and Bolivia we say to you that you are giving an excellent history lesson to all of Latin America because right now you are putting a stop to neoliberal globalization.

And to the piqueteros and the youth of Argentina we want to say that we love you.

And to those in Uruguay who want a better country, we admire you.

And to the landless of Brazil we respect you.

And to all the youths of Latin America, it’s so great that you are doing what you are doing and you give us great hope.

And we want to say to the brothers and sisters of Social Europe, that is to say the Europe that is rebellious and has dignity, that you are not alone. Your large movements against neoliberal wars make us very happy. We watch, attentively, your ways of organizing yourselves and your styles of fighting so that perhaps we can learn something. We are looking for a way to support you in your struggles but we’re not going to send Euros because they are devaluating due to the chaos in the European Union, but maybe we can send you some crafts and coffee so that you can sell them and this will help you a little bit in your work for the struggle. And maybe we will also send you some pozol soup which gives a lot of strength in the struggle. But who knows if we will send it, because pozol is more of our own style and it could be that it gives you a pain in the belly and weakens your struggles and the neoliberals would then defeat you.

And we want to say to the brothers and sisters of Africa, Asia and Oceania that we want to get to know your ideas and your ways better.

And we want to say to the world that we want to make it bigger, so big that it fits all the worlds that resist because the neoliberals want to destroy them and because they don’t leave them alone only because they fight for all humankind.

Well, then, in Mexico what we want to create is an agreement with people and organizations that are decidedly of the left, because we believe that it is on the political left where the idea of resisting against neoliberal globalization really lives, and the struggle to make justice, democracy, and freedom in any country wherever it would be, where there is only freedom for big business and there is only democracy to put up election campaign signs. And because we believe that only the left can come up with a combat plan so that our country, Mexico, does not die.

And, then, what we believe is that, with these people and organizations of the left, we will chart a course to go to every corner or Mexico where there are humble and simple people like ourselves.

And we don’t come to you to tell you what you should do nor to give you orders.

Nor are we going to ask you to vote for a candidate, since we already know that the only candidates are neoliberals.

Nor are we going to tell you to do what we do, nor that you should rise up in arms.

What we are going to do is ask you how your lives are going, your fight, your thoughts about how our country is doing and about what we can do so that they don’t defeat us.

What we are going to do is listen to your thoughts, those of the simple and humble people, and maybe we will find there the same love that we have for our country.

And maybe we will come to agreement among us, we who are simple and humble and, together, we will organize throughout the entire country and come to an agreement between our struggles that, right now, fight alone, separated from one another, and we will come up with a plan about how we will continue with this program that includes what we all want, and a plan for how we are going to achieve this program, that is named “the national plan of struggle,” so that it is achieved.

And then, by agreement of the majority of these people to whom we are going to listen, we ought join forces in a struggle with everyone here: with indigenous, workers, farmers, students, teachers, employees, women, children, senior citizens, men, and with everyone who is blessed of heart and has an interest in fighting so that our country named “Mexico” will not be sold, destroyed and ended, and that it remains here between the Rio Bravo and the Rio Suchiate, and that it has on one side the Pacific Ocean and on the other the Atlantic.

VI. HOW WE ARE GOING TO DO IT

And, well, this is our simple word that we speak to the humble and simple people of Mexico and of the world, and it is through this word that we now call:

The Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle.

And here we are to say, with our simple word, that:

The EZLN continues its commitment toward an offensive cease-fire and will not attack any governmental force nor carry out offensive military maneuvers;

The EZLN continues, still, its commitment to insisting on the path of political struggle with this peaceful proposal that we now make. As such, the EZLN will continue in its belief in not making any secret alliance with national politico-military organizations nor those of other countries;

The EZLN reiterates it commitment to defend, support, and obey the Zapatista indigenous communities that create it and that are its supreme command, and, without interfering in its internal democratic processes and in the measurement of its possibilities, to contribute to the strengthening of its autonomy, good government, and improvement of living conditions.

That is to say, what we are going to create in Mexico and in the world we will create without weapons, through a peaceful, through a peaceful civil movement, yet without ignoring nor abandoning our communities.

Therefore:

In the world…

1. We will build more relationships of respect and mutual aid with people and organizations that resist and fight against neoliberalism and for humankind.

2. In accordance with our abilities we will send material support such as food and crafts to those brothers and sisters who struggle throughout the world.

To begin, we are going to ask the Good Government Council of La Realidad to lend us the bus named “Chompiras” with a capacity of something like eight tons, and we will fill it with corn and maybe with two tanks, each with two liters of gasoline or oil, depending on what is called for, and we are going to deliver it to the Cuban embassy in Mexico to send to the Cuban people as aid from the Zapatistas during the United States’ blockade.

Or perhaps there is a place closer to here where we can deliver it because it’s a long trip to Mexico City and what happens if the good bus “Chompiras” breaks down? We would be in bad sorts. And it would stay that way through the harvest that right now is growing green in the cornfield and, if they don’t attack us, we will send corn on the cob in the months to come which doesn’t ship well in the form of tamales, so it’s better to send it in November or December, the people say.

And we will also make a deal with the women’s crafts cooperatives to send some knits to the Europes that might already not be a Union, and maybe we’ll also send some organic coffee from the Zapatista cooperative so that they can sell it and make a little money to pay for their struggle. And if it doesn’t sell, well, they can always make a little coffee and discuss the fight against neoliberalism, and if it gets cold they can cover themselves with the Zapatista knittings so that they won’t fade of color after being stonewashed.

And to the indigenous brothers and sisters of Bolivia and Ecuador we will also send a little non-transgenic corn but we still don’t know where to send it so that it arrives at its destination but we are ready to send this little bit of aid.

3. And to everyone throughout the world who resists we say that there have to be other intercontinental gatherings, even if there is only one. Maybe in December of this year or in January of next year, we have to think about it. We don’t want to give an exact date, or place, or decide who comes or how it is done, because this is about making horizontal agreements among us all. But we don’t want it with a stage from where just a few speak and everyone else listens, but, rather, that there not be a stage, that it all be at ground-level, but well ordered because if not well organized there will just be a lot of noise and no one will understand the word. And with a good organization, everyone can listen, and they can write down in their notebooks the words of resistance that others tell so that later each participant can talk it over with their colleagues in their worlds.

And we think that it ought to be in a place where there is a very big prison, because it could be that they repress us and jail us, and that way we will not all be piled one on top of another but, rather, well organized though we be prisoners. And from there in jail we can continue the intercontinental gathering for humankind and against neoliberalism.

So, in the future we will announce how we can come to agreement on this. Well, that is how we think about doing what we want to do in the world. On to the next point…

In Mexico…

1. We will continue fighting for the Indian peoples of Mexico but not only for them nor only with them, but, rather, for all the exploited and dispossessed in Mexico, with all of them, and throughout the entire country. And when we speak of all the exploited of Mexico we are also speaking of the brothers and sisters who have had to go to the United States to seek work in order to survive.

2. We are going to listen to and speak directly, without middlemen nor mediations, to the simple and humble Mexican people, and depending on what we hear and learn, we will construct, together with these people who are like us, humble and simple, a national fight plan, but a plan that will, clearly, be of the left, which is to say anti-capitalist, or anti-neoliberal, or which is also to say in favor of justice, democracy and freedom for the Mexican people.

3. We will try to construct or reconstruct another way of practicing politics, in the spirit of serving others, without material interests, with sacrifice, with dedication, with honesty, a way that keeps it word, or, that is to say, in the same way that militants of the left – who were not stopped by violence, jail or death, and much less with offers of dollar bills – have done it.

4. We will also keep looking at ways to rise up; a fight to demand that we create a new Constitution, or, that is to say, new laws that take our demands, those of the Mexican people, into account, which are: housing, land, work, food, health, education, information, culture, independence, democracy, justice, freedom and peace. A new Constitution that recognizes the rights and liberties of the people, and that defends the weak against the powerful.

Therefore:

The EZLN will send a delegation to do this job throughout national territory, for an undefined period of time. This Zapatista delegation, together with people of the left who join with this Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, will go to those places to where we are expressly invited.

We also announce that the EZLN will establish a policy of having alliances with non-electoral movements and organizations that define themselves, in theory and practice, as of the left, according to the following conditions:

No making of agreements from above to impose upon those below, but, rather, they should make agreements to advance together and to listen and to organize indignation;

No to beginning movements that will be later negotiated away behind the backs of those who made them, but, rather, they should take into account, always, the opinions of those who participate in them;

No to seeking little gifts, jobs, advantages, patronage, of Power or of those who aspire to it, but, rather, they should go farther than the electoral calendars allow;

No to trying to resolve from above the problems of our Nation, but, rather, they must construct FROM BELOW AND FOR BELOW an alternative to neoliberal destruction, an alternative of the left for Mexico.

Yes to mutual respect for autonomy and independence of organizations, of their ways of fighting, of their way of organizing themselves, of their internal decision-making processes, of their legitimate representatives, of their aspirations and demands;

And, yes, to mutual respect and autonomy and independence and yes to a clear commitment of mutual and coordinated defense of national sovereignty, and with intransigent opposition to the attempts to privatize electricity, oil, water and natural resources.

Here is the bottom line, as they say: We invite political and social organizations of the left that are not registered with any government, and individual people who believe in the resurrection of the left that do not belong to political parties recognized by any state, to meet with us in the time, place, and style that we propose, to organize a national campaign, visiting every possible corner of our country, to listen and organize the word of our people. This is, thus, another campaign, but a very different one, because it is not electoral.

Brothers and Sisters:

This is our word and we declare:

Throughout the world we will build a bigger brotherhood with the resistance fights against neoliberalism and for humankind.

And we will support, even if just a little, those struggles.

And we will, with mutual respect, exchange experiences, histories, ideas, dreams.

In Mexico, we will cover the entire country, through all the ruins that the neoliberal war has left, and for the resistances that, from the trenches, bloom.

We will seek, and we will find, someone who loves these lands and these roots as much as we do.

We will seek, from La Realidad to Tijuana, he and she who wants to be organized, to fight, to construct what may be the last hope for this Nation that has existed at least since the time when the eagle landed on a nopal cactus to devour a serpent, so that this nation does not die.

We are going for another kind of politics, for a program of the left, and for a new Constitution.

We invite the indigenous, the workers, the farmers, the teachers, the students, the housewives, the neighbors, the small property owners, the small businesspersons, the retired, the handicapped, the religious men and women, the scientists, the artists, the intellectuals, the youths, the women, the elders, the homosexuals and lesbians, the boys and girls, so that, individually or collectively, you participate directly with the Zapatistas in this NATIONAL CAMPAIGN for the construction of another way of making politics, of a program of national struggle that is of the left, and for a new Constitution.

This is our word regarding what we are going to do and how we are going to do it. What remains to be seen is if you want to enter it.

And we say to the men and women who have your thoughts well placed in your hearts, who agree with this word that we offer, and who are not afraid, or who are afraid but who have it under control, that you publicly say that you are in agreement with this idea that we are declaring and so that we see, once and for all, with who, and how, and where, and when, we will take this new step in the struggle.

And while you think it over, we say to you that today, in the sixth month of 2005, the men, women, children and elders of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation have already decided and have already signed this Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, and those who know how to write have signed it, and those who don’t know how to write have affixed their fingerprints, but the number of those who don’t know how to write is already much smaller because education has advanced in this rebel territory for humankind and against neoliberalism, which is to say, in the heavens and on the earth of the Zapatistas.

And that has been our simple word spoken to the noble hearts of the simple and humble people who resist and who rebel against injustice throughout the world.

Democracy!
Freedom!
Justice!

From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast,

The Revolutionary Indigenous Clandestine Committee, General Command of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation, Mexico, in the sixth month, which is to say in June, of the year 2005.

Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle (Part I)

Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle (Part II)

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The Narco News Bulletin: Reporting on the Drug War and Democracy from Latin America