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Narco News 2001

Report from CNI

Plus New EZLN Communiqué

Youths of Michoacán Cheer the Zapatista Caravan

Preliminary Results from

Indigenous National Congress

Nurío, Michoacán

March 4, 2001

From Narco News correspondents and combined wire reports of Notimex and AP:

The Third Indigenous National Congress was attended 3,300 indigenous delegates officially sent by their communities, representing 42 of the 56 ethnic groups in Mexico.

- At the closing session on Sunday afternoon, the assembly demanded the recognition of indigenous rights in the Mexican constitution, in the form written by the Cocopa (Concord and Peace Commission), announcing, "We will not resign from being who we are and we will continue defending our autonomy."

- In a clear reference to President Vicente Fox's "Plan Panamá-Puebla," and the proposed mega-project of a superhighway on the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in Oaxaca and Veracruz, the final document of the CNI declared that Mexico's "natural resources are not merchandise to be bought and sold, because we won't accept the destruction of our territories by the impositions of projects and mega-projects that state and federal governments try to impose on the indigenous regions of the country."

- The delegates assembled called for the demilitarization of the country and the release of all indigenous political prisoners.

- To the 6,000 observers and 600 special invitees present for the three day Congress, the assembly called upon national and international Civil Society to demonstrate support for the recognition of indigenous rights and to accompany the Zapatista Caravan to Mexico City as it goes to dialogue with the federal Congress.

- Indigenous communities throughout Mexico will form "autonomous municipalities" similar to the 38 such entities formed in Chiapas by the Zapatistas, and will declare a National Day of Indigenous Rights.

- The congress members will form a human chain around the San Lázaro legislative palace on Monday, March 12th, and asked all Civil Society to join the giant demonstration on Sunday, March 11th on the Zócalo in Mexico City with the Zapatista delegates.

- A special commission of the Indigenous National Congress will accompany the Zapatistas for the duration of their journey to Mexico City.

- The Congress also called on the Fox administration to comply with the three signals necessary for dialogue: The withdraw of federal army troops from three more bases in Chiapas; the release of 53 more Zapatista political prisoners; and the implementation of the San Andrés Accords signed by the government in 1996.

- The Indigenous National Congress will become a permanent body of representation of all the indigenous peoples of Mexico.

- The Congress repudiated Televisa and TV Azteca "for their lack of respect for indigenous communities" committed through the "Concert for Peace" yesterday in Mexico City.

- The Congress demanded that the mass media publishes all the information related to the activities of CNI and EZLN (to which Narco News cheerfully complies with this and other reports).

- The indigenous representatives concluded that they will continue defending their autonomy, "and in defending it, we will also defend all of those who, like us, want to live differently with dignity."

- A workshop led by three of the women Zapatista comandantas, Mixe delegate Cándida Jímenez (who spoke at the mass rally in Puebla on February 27th) and Purepecha delegate Enriqueta Calderón, and other participants, voted that the Indigenous National Congress, from now on, should be represented always in public by a pair of spokespersons: one woman and one man.

- Although 10,000 people gathered for three days with insufficient funds, food or shelter, a table set up by the State Human Rights Commission to receive complaints about any violations or irregularities at the Indigenous National Congress received zero complaints about the event. They did receive three complaints over the government's sentencing of two indigenous fishermen in Michoacán to 20 years apiece in prison for detaining a government inspector who tried to prohibit them from practicing their craft. This was the case denounced by Subcomandante Marcos last Friday, after speaking with the wives of the prisoners.

Originally published in Spanish by the EZLN
Translated by irlandesa

Words of the EZLN
March 4, 2001.
In Nurio, Michoacán.

March 4, 2001.

People of Nurio:
Purépecha Brothers and Sisters:
Brothers and Sisters of the National Indigenous Congress:
Brothers and Sisters from National Civil Society:
Brothers and Sisters from International Civil Society:


Through my voice speaks the voice of the Zapatista Army of National


The history which has gathered us together today is not new.

The grievances which convoke us are not new.

Our struggle is not new.

Neither sorrows nor combat have time or owner.

We are born to them, and they are everyone's.

Sorrow unites us and makes us one, even though we are many.

These sorrows are:


Amuzgo Brother, Sister:

They mock our clothing, our customs, our culture, everything which makes us
ourselves to ourselves. They turn identity into something shameful.


Cora Brother, Sister.

They persecute our history, persecuting us. Many times persecuted, we are
indigenous so the one who persecutes might have meaning.


Cuicateco Brother, Sister.

They stifle us with their lies. They lie without, and create an image of
us of apathy and discouragement. They lie within, and make us an image of
resignation and stasis.


Chiapa Brother, Sister.

They tamper with our name. They call us in another way, ignoring our
history, and they force us to call ourselves as they call us and not how we
ourselves call us.

Chinanteco Brother, Sister.

Our homes are lacking in all services. We live in poverty, we die in
poverty and in poverty our children are born and grow up. Our houses are
coffins where our families are crowded together. We do not have potable
water, we do not have electricity, we do not have sewage systems, we do not
have construction materials.


Chocholteco Brother, Sister.

Our communities are crowded together, out of sight. They deny our
existence, and, since they cannot do away with us, they then conceal us
from themselves and from others.


Chol Brother, Sister.

They wrench us from our homes with poverty and we have to travel far, away
from our own, so that our arms might serve the powerful in exchange for a
poverty which will once again wrench our homes from us.


Chontal Brother, Sister.

They make war on us in many ways. Sometimes with bullets, sometimes with
deceit, sometimes with poverty, sometimes with jails. Always with


Guarijío Brother, Sister.

Today memory is a crime. We are memory. We are indigenous. We are
criminals. Our blood fills jails and cemeteries. This is the sentence:
prison and coffin for memory.


Huasteco Brother, Sister.

We live fewer years than they do, we become ill more than they do, twice
the number of our children die compared to theirs, we have more accidents
than they do. We have more death. But we have fewer hospitals, we have
fewer doctors, we have fewer nurses, we have fewer medicines, we have less


Huave Brother, Sister.

Our work is poorly paid. Coyotes and caciques ally with each other in
order to steal from us with their pricing. Long and painful working days
are converted into just a few coins which are not enough for anything.


Kikapú Brother, Sister.

We work with work in order to have work so they will give us work and thus
be able to work our work.


Kukapá Brother, Sister.

The music of our words is noise to their ears, and they would have their
noise become music to our ears.


Mame Brother, Sister.

We live in a corner and they corner us in it. Smaller and smaller is the
air which is left for us, and the ground and the sky.


Matlatzinca Brother, Sister.

History is clear: we contribute the deaths, the blood, the pain, our
houses and devastated countryside, our dead peoples dying mortal deaths.


Maya Brother, Sister.

We have no teachers because we have no schools, and we have no schools
because we have no teachers. Government educational programs consist in
teaching ignorance to our people.


Mazahua Brother, Sister.

They contaminate the water, they turn it into merchandise, they steal it,
they sell it. They leave the land without sustenance so that the land will
die of thirst.


Mayo Brother, Sister.

They make us confront each other. They sow discord between us and put the
death of the brother in the hand of the brother.


Mazateco Brother, Sister.

Our food is meager and poor. We know of meat, milk and eggs by name, but
those names are always lacking on our tables. The only things which abound
on our tables are our children's', and our, hungry mouths.


Mixe Brother, Sister.

As women, we are thrice slain. Slain as poor persons. Slain as
indigenous. Slain as women. They kill us three times.


Mixteco Brother, Sister.

Alcohol is poison for our blood, and the price we pay for the poison only
serves to fatten the powerful. We ask for food and we receive alcohol,
which corrupts our joy and ends up saddening our hearts.


Náhuatl Brother, Sister.

If we suffer injustices and unfairness and we protest, we are crushed. If
we demand our rights, we are crushed. If we speak, we are crushed. If we
organize, we are crushed. If we resist, we are crushed. Repression is
always the response we receive. We never receive the attentive ear, the
sincere word, sisterly generosity. Always threats, jail, death.


Ñahñu Brother, Sister.

To the powerful, our color represents weakness, backwardness, ignorance,
malevolent resentment, bad jokes, the contemptuous gesture.


O'Odham Brother, Sister.

They want to purchase our dignity, the only thing left without a price. If
we cannot do so, then they persecute us, they imprison us, they kill us.


Pame Brother, Sister.

They take our lands in order to sow and reap the death which is made candy
in veins and lungs. They take the profits, we are the flesh for the jails.


Popoluca Brother, Sister.

Even though we, the indigenous, work very hard, we do not make progress.
And the one who does not work makes progress at the price of our poverty.
We work and we reap poverty, the rich does not work and he is rewarded with


Purépecha Brother, Sister.

Our language is persecuted. They fear it for what it says and denounces.
They fear it because it allows past history to be seen. They fear it
because today it rebels. They fear it because it announces a tomorrow.
They fear our language, that is why they pursue and kill it.


Rarámuri Brother, Sister.

What matters to the powerful in these lands is not us, but rather the
resources which are within it. And so the tree is made dead in order to be
made wood, and the wood is made money and the money prosperity for the
powerful. For us, adversity.


Tenek Brother, Sister.

We are a decorative object, a bright and colorful adornment, forgotten in a
corner of society. We are a picture, a photograph, a weaving, a craft,
never a human being.


Tlahuica Brother, Sister.

Our children grow up educated in fear. They fear growing up, they fear
being Indians, they fear the other who is not Indian, they fear being


Tlapaneco Brother, Sister.

They do not want to give us any space other than that of the museums of
ancient, past things, which will be left behind in an already far distant


Tojolabal Brother, Sister.

Our towns are filled with armies which are occupying our lands, destroying
our forests, polluting our waters, profaning our churches, dismantling our
homes, introducing drugs, alcohol and prostitution. They pursue us with
hunting dogs, planes, helicopters, war tanks and thousands of soldiers.


Totonaco Brother, Sister.

For us, justice is a cruel shameless joke or mausoleum or bars or
disappearing. Being indigenous is a punishable crime, which is not written
in any legal code, but is in the minds of the police and the judges.


Triqui Brother, Sister.

Humiliation is the future they offer us. In it, we will always have to
lower our heads in front of the powerful, be the butt of jokes and
contempt, be inferior, forgettable.


Tzeltal Brother, Sister.

Our good lands are being occupied by the rich, and they throw us onto stony
ground, where the land will barely squeeze a sigh.


Tzotzil Brother, Sister.

They finance, organize, arm and train paramilitary groups in order to kill
us. And then they present the killings as if they were fights between
campesinos, as "inter-community conflicts," as if the hand which killed
were dark and not as it actually is, the color of money.


Wixaritari-Huichol Brother and Sister.

They steal our lands from us and the powerful conceals his theft behind
laws made to serve them and to hurt us. Thanks to the law, the powerful
have turned our lives and our history into a crime.


Yaqui Brother and Sister.

The power above tries to buy our consciences, to corrupt us in order to
turn us into slaves, into servile animals to conceal justice behind the


Zapoteco Brother and Sister.

The economic policies of the powerful force us to abandon our land and to
emigrate to the United States. Besides leaving behind our families, our
history, our culture, our home, our land, our friendships, our people, we
must then confront the armed racism of the border police and the fascist
ranchers. Death forces us to leave our land and, by leaving, we must
confront death.


Zoque Brother and Sister.

They corner us so we will betray the blood which gives us life, so we will
serve the powerful in his dirty work of erasing the color of the earth.


Brothers and Sisters of the Indian peoples which we are today:

We are nothing to the powerful but a figure in his accounts. We are a
bothersome number. One number in the balance sheet. They measure us in
order to disappear us. To measure their time and cost. They measure us in
order to exploit us. To measure their time and profit. They measure us in
order to control us. In order to measure their time and expense.

Brother, Sister...

Maya Yucateco

Brothers and Sisters:

Today they want to make us fashionable. Today they want to make us
entertainment, passing news. Today they want to make us short-lived and
transitory again, fleeting, disposable, dispensable, forgettable.

When has history been fashionable?

When has memory been up for sale?

When have the roots been a transient shop window?

When is the past momentary?

When is wisdom dissoluble and transitory?

When is firmness fleeting?

When are the foundations disposable?

When can one do without tomorrow?

When can it be forgotten that they are because we are?

Forty Indian peoples, of the 57 in Mexico, have been received in the house
of Purépecha.

It was in Nurio, Michoacán. So it was recorded by our scribes.

We were reunited by sorrow and hope.

Sorrow and hope will make us walk once again, like yesterday, like always.

But now we do not go alone.

Not alone from ourselves.

Not alone from the others.

We will march once more now, but the 7 days which will carry us to the land
which grows upwards, to the one which makes laws, shall tremble with all
the indigenous which we are.

Though we have been united by sorrow, though hope unites us, nothing shall
have meaning if we are not united by tomorrow.


From the Purépecha community of Nurio, Michoacán.

Clandestine Revolutionary Indigenous Committee -
General Command of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation.

Mexico, March of 2001.

On to Mexico City!