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Part V of The Mexican Transition

By Subcomandante Marcos

The Narco News Bulletin

"The Name of Our Country is América"

-- Simón Bolívar

An Open Letter to Zedillo

Marcos to the outgoing president: "It doesn't matter where you hide: in that place there will also be Zapatistas"


To Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de León.

On your way to nowhere.

Planet Earth.

Mr. Zedillo,

Six years ago I wrote you in the name of all the Zapatistas welcoming you to the nightmare. Many think now that we were right. For most of your six year term, your leadership has been a long nightmare for millions of Mexicans men and women: political assassinations, economic crises, massive poverty, illicit enrichment, tightening of links between the government and organized crime, corruption, irresponsibilitiy, war… and bad jokes badly told.

For most of your six year term, you tried to destroy the indigenous people that launched a challenge to everything you represent. You tried to destroy us.

When you came to power, you had the liberty to choose how to face the Zapatista uprising. What you chose is already done and is history. In your role as Supreme Commander of the Federal Army and with all the power that being the chief executive holds, you could have chosen the path of dialogue and negotiation. You could have offered signs of peace. You could have complied with what you signed in San Andrés. You could have brought peace.

You didn't do it.

You chose instead a double strategy of claiming a disposition for dialogue and continuing the path of violence. That is how you tried to repeat the history of the treason of Chinameca (February 9, 1995). You spent billions of pesos trying to buy the consciences of the rebels. You militarized the indigenous communities (and not only in Chiapas). You deported international observers. You trained, armed and equipped paramilitaries. You prosecuted, jailed and summarily executed Zapatistas ("remember" Union Progreso, June 10, 1998) and you did it to non-Zapatistas: You destroyed the social fabric of rural Chiapas, and you followed the slogan of your putative son, the paramilitary group "Red Mask" ("We will kill the Zapatista seed"). You sent them to massacre children and pregnant women in Acteal on December 22, 1997.

We could have understood why, although you could have followed the path of dialogue, you opted instead to make war upon us. It could have been because they sold you the idea that you could take us prisoner, that you could have defeated us militarily, that you could have achieved our surrender, that you could have bought us, that you could have tricked us, that you could have caused the Mexican people to forget about us and our fight, that you could have caused the people of other countries to renounce their solidarity with the indigenous cause. In sum, that you could have won the war against us. This we could have understood. But, Mr. Zedillo, Why Acteal? Why did you send them to kill children? Why did you send your hitmen to kill pregnant women with machetes, who, wounded or terrorized, did not escape from the massacre.

In the end, what didn't you do to destroy the Zapatistas?

Is it possible that they are not finished? That they slipped out your ambush of February 9, 1995? That they rebelled anew after your breaking of the San Andrés Accords? That they escaped your military occupation as many times as they wanted? That they resisted your ferocious offensive, conducted by "doggy bones" Albores against the autonomous municipalities? That time and again they demonstrated with mobilizations that their demands count with the support of millions of Mexicans? No, the Zapatistas were not finished.

And not only were they not finished. What's more, is they proliferated through the entire world. Remember the times you had to escape through emergency exits, surreptitiously, from the events in other countries that you participated in while the Zapatista committees of solidarity protested your Chiapas policy? Is there any ambassador or consul that has not reported with despair the actions that International Zapatistas conducted at the events and buildings of the Mexican government in foreign countries? How many protests from international organizations were received by your foreign relations ministry for the incompliance with the San Andres Acords, the militarization of Chiapas and the lack of dialogue with the Zapatistas? And when you ordered the expulsion of hundreds of international observers, did that diminish the solidarity actions throughout the world?

And what can you tell me about Mexico? Instead of saying "limited to four Chiapas towns", that Zapatista thinking extended to the 32 states of the federation. And it was made worker, farmer, indigenous, teacher, student employee, choffer, fisherman, rocker, painter, actor, writer, nun, priest, athlete, housewife, neighbor, independent unionist, homosexual, lesbian, transsexual, soldier, marine, small and medium business owner, street vendor, handicapped person, retired and pensioned… people.

That was how the six years went, Mr. Zedillo. You could have chosen between peace and war and you opted for war. The results of this election are clear: You lost the war.

You did everything you could to destroy us.

We only resisted.

You are going into exile.

We continue here.

Mr. Zedillo,

You came to power through a crime that, right up to today, stays unrectified. And crimes of impunity filled your six year term. In addition to continuing the policies of privitization of your predecessor (and now open enemy), Salinas de Gortari, you dressed the crime named FOBAPROA-IPAB in legality and that consisted not only in the result that poor Mexicans "rescued" the rich and made them richer, but also that this heavy load compromises future generations.

For more than 70 million mexicans, the supposed economic solidity of the country means misery and unemployment. While you protected carefully the invasion by foreign capital, in the national market the small and medium sized businesses were disappeared. During your term, the borders that divide government and organized crime were erased and the continuous scandals provoked serious problems in the press: it was impossible to separate the news of the political section and that of the scandal pages: "suicides," ex-governors as fugitives, generals as prisoners, prosperous businessmen that "only" were tortured, police "specialized" in the combat against organized crime seizing universities.

Today, just like your predecessor, you are marching off to the same place as those who gave you your job, they served you and were served by you, and then converted into your worst enemies disposed to pursue you. There, beginning tomorrow, you will know, Mr. Zedillo, what it is to be pursued night and day. And it will not only last six years. Because beginning right now there will be a very long line of those who want to settle accounts and injuries.

It's clear that we were right when, six years ago, the Zapatistas welcomed you to the nightmare. But now you are going? Is it over?

Yes and no.

Because for us the nightmare with you ends today. It could be followed by another or, finally, an awakening, we don't know. We will do everything possible so that tomorrow will flourish. But for you, Mr. Zedillo, the nightmare will only continue…

Vale. Good health and it doesn't matter where you hide: in that place there will also be Zapatistas.

From the Mountains of the Mexican Southeast.

Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos.
México, November 2000.

P.S. Of course, before I forget. A year ago, in September 1999, you sent us an open letter through your Interior Minister (today, a candidate for the presidency of the PRI). I believe it was called "Another step into the Abyss," "A darker step," "A more cynical step" or something like that. In that letter, that came only three years late, your government supposedly responded, with lies, to the conditions that (in September of 1996!) we had made for the dialogue to begin anew. The open letter tried, more than tricking us, to fool the national and international public opinion. Something that it certainly did not succeed at doing. As you would want it to be, the lying letter told us that we would be satisfied with what would be said, and invited us to return to the dialogue. It would be discourteous on our part to leave you without a response, above all because today you are (finally!) going. Excuse our tardiness, but permit me to answer you in these lines: our response is: NO!

You're welcome.

The Mexican Transition: Immediate History

Part I: Mexico's Next Secretary of State says Legalize Drugs

II: Fox's 1st Challenge is to enact the Chiapas San Andrés Accords

III: Fox Names Drug Reformer Gertz as Nation's Top Cop

IV: Answer the Call to Mexico City, February 2001

V: Marcos to Zedillo: "You Lost the War"

VI: A Play in Two Acts by Marcos

VII. Marcos Welcomes Fox: "You Start from Zero"

See Our Previous Nine Part Series on the Narco in Chiapas

There's No Hidin' Place 'round Here