May 1, 2001
Narco News 2001
Planned May 1 in Mexico
National Congress Speaks
FIRST OF MAY, 2001
that 509 years of history have meant exploitation, discrimination
and poverty for our first peoples; and that the Mexican Nation,
born of our seed and of our hearts, has been built by the powerful,
denying our existence and denying our supreme right to walk our
own path, without eliminating the country founded with our blood.
REMEMBERING, that the San Andrés Accords on Indigenous
Rights and Culture, signed on February 16, 1996, correspond only
to the First Table of Dialogue between the Federal Government
and the Zapatista Army of National Liberation, and are promises
and proposals joined together that both parties agreed to in
order to guarantee a new relation between the indigenous peoples
of the country, of Society and of the State. And that these proposals
together, that were sent to the places of national debate and
decision, were collected by the Concord and Peace Commission
(COCOPA) - constituted by legislators from the different national
political parties - in a bill that was presented as the Constitutional
Reform Initiative. And that the Zapatista Army of National Liberation
(EZLN) accepted them, as did the Indigenous National Congress,
on November 29, 1996, not without noting the omissions it presented
but recognizing it as the first step toward constitutional recognition
of our rights.
RECOGNIZING, that the San Andrés Accords, as well as
their legislative and constitutional interpretations that are
expressed in the Constitutional Reform Initiative elaborated
by the Concord and Peace Commission (COCOPA), reflect the majority
consensus of the indigenous peoples of Mexico, of the government,
and of national society on the issue of indigenous rights and
CONSIDERING, that the constitutional recognition of indigenous
rights and culture, according to the COCOPA initiative, as part
of the three signals demanded by the EZLN, is the firm step toward
the construction of a just and dignified peace in Chiapas.
CONSIDERING, that the march of the 1,111 Zapatistas to Mexico
City in September 1997, and the results of the National Consultation
on Indigenous Rights and Culture realized in March 1999, ratified
the national consensus represented by the San Andrés Accords
and the Constitutional Reform Initiative elaborated by the COCOPA.
REMEMBERING, that our peoples, convened and reunited in the
Third Indigenous National Congress realized in Nurío,
Michoacán, on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th days of March of this
year, agreed unanimously to demand: the constitutional recognition
of the rights of the indigenous peoples, consistent with the
COCOPA initiative; the constitutional recognition of our inalienable
right to free determination, expressed through autonomy as part
of the Mexican State; and the constitutional recognition of our
territories and ancestral lands that represent the totality of
our habitat where we reproduce our material and spiritual existence
OBSERVING, that the International Treaty of Civil and Political
Rights, like the International Treaty of Economic, Social and
Cultural Rights, both binding upon the Supreme Law of our country,
establish that all peoples have the right to free determination
and that by virtue of this right freely establish their political
condition and provide at the same time for their economic, social
and cultural development.
OBSERVING, at the same time, that Convention 169 of the International
Labor Organization (OIT) on Indian and Tribal Peoples in Independent
Countries, also binding upon the Supreme Law of Mexico according
to our living constitution, establishes the right of our peoples
to assume control of their own institutions, forms of life, and
economic development, and to maintain and strengthen their identities,
languages, territories and natural resources within the law of
the State in which they live.
DENOUNCING, that once more our word and our sense has only
been used to for the mockery and cruelty of the powerful; that
the first voice of our peoples and the majority voice of Mexican
society expressed during February, March and April of the year
2001 in the March for Indigenous Dignity led by the Zapatista
Army of National Liberation is not listened to by those who say
they are the depositories of the popular will; that the political
and economic interests who control power try, once again, to
impose upon the very first peoples of these lands, of our towns,
of the Indigenous peoples, who stand last in line without being
recognized for their fundamental rights, who are prisoners of
looting, ethnocide and the forced integration of our nation outside
of our history and our common sense, that today they try to take
everything from everyone.
THE PEOPLES, COMMUNITIES
AND ORGANIZATIONS THAT BELONG TO THE INDIGENOUS NATIONAL CONGRESS
We reject absolutely the Initiative of Indigenous Law approved
by the Congress of the Union, because it not only violates the
popular will and is unconstitutional, but also is profoundly
regressive in disowning fundamental rights of our peoples, granted
by the same Constitution, as well as the international treaties,
pacts and agreements that Mexico has adopted and that are binding
upon the Supreme Law in agreement with our living Constitution.
In particular, the approved initiative incorporates in a partial
and distorted form some concepts and rights guaranteed by Convention
169 of the OIT, and omits many others that are fundamental.
The Indigenous Law Bill approved by those who say they represent
the popular will does not incorporate the spirit nor the letter
of the San Andrés Accords and it substantially changes
the Constitutional Reform Initiative elaborated by the COCOPA,
signaling that the recognition of indigenous peoples and communities
will be made in the laws and constitutions of the states, a situation
that, in reality, implies that constitutional recognition of
our peoples and their rights will not be recognized. The approved
initiative represents an obstacle to renewing the dialogue between
the Federal Government and the Zapatista Army of National Liberation
with the goal of constructing a just and dignified peace. The
vote of the legislators was not a vote for peace.
This constitutional counter-reform represents a mockery of our
peoples and a major affront to Mexican society, who decided to
back our just cause, because it leaves in the hands of the Federal
States the definition of indigenous autonomy and the mechanisms
for its realization, nullifying our rights of free determination
expressed by autonomy inside the law of the Mexican State and
the aspirations of our peoples for their plain recognition.
The initiative approved reduces the application of our autonomous
rights to the municipal level. It does not resolve our access
to, and administration of, municipal resources that correspond
to our peoples, nor does it make possible the construction of
authentic indigenous municipal reservations.
The constitutional counter-reform delivers to indigenous communities,
in the form of charity and pity, the character of a state of
public interest and not of public rights as was established in
the COCOPA initiative so that, inside the structure of the State
and being plainly recognized for its standing, those municipalities
that recognize their belonging to an indigenous people can associate
freely between themselves with the goal of coordinating their
actions of free determination by the indigenous peoples at each
of the levels that give value to their autonomy, in agreement
with particular and specific circumstances of each federal state.
In the approved initiative, the possibility of redistricting
the territories inhabited by indigenous peoples is omitted, and
that fact - that the territorial reorganization of districts,
with the goal of propitiating the political participation by
indigenous peoples - is left in a non-binding article of law
and does not accomplish that, but rather affirms the illusory
and regressive character of the imposed constitutional reform.
SEVENTH: The initiative that the Congress of the Union approved
ignores, relative to the territories of our peoples, the legal
right already established by Convention 169 of the OIT, and doesn't
recognize our lands and territories in agreement with the concepts
stated by that Convention. The term "territories" is
grossly substituted by that of "places," and we remain
denied the immediate physical space to exercise our autonomy
and the material and spiritual reproduction of our existence.
The Indigenous Law that today they try to impose upon our peoples
and society reaffirms the individualist concept that inspired
the counter-reform of Article 27 of the Constitution in 1992
and is expressed just the same, now that it doesn't recognize
the CONSTITUTIONAL right that we have to decide collectively
the use and enjoyment of the natural resources that are found
in our lands and territories. To the contrary, it restricts,
regressively, this exclusive right that we have. And it turns
it into a simple right of preference, already limited by the
forms and norms of property and tenancy of the land already established
by the Constitution and by the rights that have been acquired
- generally, through illegal means - by third parties over our
peoples. We have demanded the recognition of the right that we
have to access the natural resources that are found in the entire
habitat that the peoples occupy. And the legislators, to the
contrary, decide to reduce rights that we have historically already
won, in fact and in law, through ancient titles and agrarian
resolutions and with the sweat and blood of our ancestors.
The initiative approved, in contradiction to the format of dialogue
established between the Federal Government and the EZLN, tries
to dodge the agrarian question in the same terms that Article
27 of the current Constitution does, without considering the
grand opposition by our peoples to the reform of that Article
and forgetting that the agrarian theme must be discussed in the
Table of Dialogue together with the theme of Well-Being and Development.
the same time, the Indigenous Law establishes a part "B"
in the Second Constitutional Article that, beyond not corresponding
its content to an appropriate constitutional text, reproduces
the indigenist policies of ethnocide that the Mexican State has
historically applied, signaling a series of aid policies that
the legislators, in authoritarian form, have supposed will serve
our peoples, being that our demand is the effective recognition
of the indigenous peoples so that they can define their own development
ELEVENTH: Today, like yesterday, we say: Never Again a Mexico
Never again will the voice of the indigenous
peoples be silent before injustice!
In this national hour, we ratify and strengthen
this cry against the new aggression that this recent constitutional
counter-reform signifies. We will make everyone see that a true
Mexico, just and dignified, will exist only when the rights of
our people are plainly recognized.
For all that has been said, WE CALL:
To all the indigenous peoples, communities
and organizations of the country to unite with our belief, our
paths and our voice with the goal of demanding the constitutional
recognition of our rights in agreement with the COCOPA initiative,
and TO ORGANIZE FROM EVERY CORNER OF THE COUNTRY THE MOBILIZATION
AND RESISTANCE AGAINST THE NEW MOCKERY BY THE FEW THAT CONTROL
POWER IN THIS COUNTRY AND WHO HAVE KIDNAPPED THE CONGRESS OF
THE UNION AND THE WILL OF THE NATION THROUGH THE MOST REACTIONARY
POSITIONS THAT EXIST IN OUR COUNTRY, REPRESENTED BY DIEGO FERNANDEZ
DE CEVALLOS AND MANUEL BARTLETT. WE CALL FOR THE EXERCISE OF
POLITICAL SOVEREIGNTY THAT ARTICLE 39 OF THE CONSTITUTION DELIVERED
TO US, NOW THAT THE CURRENT LEGAL ORDER HAS VISIBLY BEEN OVERTHROWN
THROUGH THE APPROVED UNCONSTITUTIONAL INITIATIVE.
WE WILL UTILIZE ALL EXISTING LEGAL, NATIONAL
AND INTERNATIONAL MEANS: SO THAT THE VOICE AND THE PRESENCE OF
THE VERY FIRST PEOPLES, THE INDIGENOUS PEOPLES, IS LISTENED TO
AND IS FELT BY THE ENTIRE NATION.
To the workers of the town and the city and to the entire Mexican
people, to organize a mass national movement that brings us to
the unity of action and at the same time permits us to construct
consensus and overcome weaknesses with the goal of achieving
the constitutional recognition of the rights of our peoples and
the cancellation of the neoliberal policies that today destroy
the entire nation.
May 1, 2001
NEVER MORE A MEXICO WITHOUT US!
FOR THE INTEGRAL RECONSTITUTION OF OUR
INDIGENOUS NATIONAL CONGRESS
April 27 Communique of CNI
CONGRESO NACIONAL INDÍGENA
TO THE INDIGENOUS PEOPLES, COMMUNITIES
AND ORGANIZATIONS OF MEXICO.
TO NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL CIVIL SOCIETY.
TO THE NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL PRESS.
Mexico City, April 27, 2001
compliance with the resolutions and
agreements of the 3rd Indigenous National Congress realized in
Nurío, Michoacán on March 2nd, 3rd and 4th, and
the session of the CNI coordinating committee on April 21st of
this year, all the indigenous peoples of Mexico are convened
to mobilize and realize actions of civil resistance this Tuesday,
May 1, together with the workers and the people in general in
every state of the nation.
Whereas the Legislative Branch (Senators
and Deputies) represent the will of the Mexican people, we demand
of the different factions and the political parties the strict
respect to the original edit of the Initiative of Constitutional
Reforms elaborated by the COCOPA.
The indigenous law approved by the Senate
eliminates substantial parts of the COCOPA intitiative, such
as: recognition of indigenous territories; the use and collective
enjoyment of the natural resources in those territories and the
possibility of associations of indigenous communities and municipalities.
The indigenous law approved by the Senate
of the Republic reduces indigenous autonomy to the municipal
level and passes the recognition of the indigenous peoples to
the State constitutions and laws, nullifying their constitutional
This law legitimizes the strategy of ethnocide
that historically has been expressed in the indigenous policies
of the Mexican State.
Because of that we express our rejection
of the Indigenous Material Bill approved by the Senate of the
Republic last April 25th, and sent to the House of Deputies for
their revision on the 26th, because it does not correspond what
the federal government and the EZLN signed in San Andrés
SakamChem de los Pobres, Chiapas, in October 1996, and embodied
in the Initiative of Constitutional Reforms presented by the
COCOPA in November of that year.
At the same time, we demand the passage
of the COCOPA initiative - and not a different one - on the part
of the Legislative Branch (House of Deputies and Senate of the
Republic) and by the local congresses, to be elevated to a Constitutional
Amendment, as part of the three signals demanded by the EZLN
and the CNI for the renewal of dialogue.
Upon complying with these three signals
a space will be given for the next steps that permit arriving
at a peace with justice and dignity. That this is clear: not
Indigenous National Congress
Never Again a Mexico
Autonomy in Deed,
not just Word