Sign Up for Free Mailing List

Narco News 2001


The Zapatista Delegation

...on to Mexico City

Comandante Abraham

Tzeltal Delegate

"We're going to the march and to Mexico City representing all the militant compañeros and bases of support, in other words, our communities, to speak with other peoples and so that all of us together who are indigenous, and those who are not indigenous, can mobilize ourselves so that there will be no more disregard for us and there can be respect. To be indigenous, for me, is my flag, because we are descendants of those who first inhabited this México, that is to say, the first peoples. Later the rich and powerful came, and they kicked us off our lands and they even wanted to meddle in our customs. They succeeded at leaving us without land, but they could not take away our customs, and because of that we still have our language and we have our communities with our customs. That is what the congressmen and senators must make into law: respect for the fact that we are indigenous."

-- Comandante Abraham

Comandanta Yolanda

Tzotzil Delegate

"Our trip to Mexico City is very important and very grand for the nation and for the world, because we are going to give our word as Zapatistas and we are going to defend our rights as women and as indigenous people. We are going to present ourselves personally to the Congress of the Union, and we are going to propose exactly what we did when we signed the San Andrés Accords for indigenous rights and culture on February 16, 1996. In our path we will be speaking with thousands of honest men and women of México. And as an indigenous person I feel important as a Mexican, because we count with the history of our first parents, the fact that they were indigenous and they also fought, as we fight, to not disappear. It's just that their fight was different than ours, but we continue with the same idea of fighting and living. As indigenous women we are not going to give up the fight until we are recognized in the Constitution and we are no longer treated as animals."

- Comandanta Yolanda


Comandante Bulmaro

Chol Delegate

"We are going to Mexico City because we are obligated as delegates to comply with a mission that our people have charged us to do. We are going to defend the indigenous legislation elaborated by the Cocopa, so that it will be approved by the señores who are deputies and senators. We are also going to speak along the route of the march with national and international civil society and we are going to invite them to support us with their mobilizations. We are going to fight together with other indigenous peoples so that once and for all our rights are recognized. It is very important that they respect us as indigenous, because by its very nature this means that we are the first inhabitants of this great Mexican nation, and as such we are formed by people who have our own forms of organization, our culture, and our own language."

- Comandante Bulmaro

Comandante Daniel

Tojolabal Delegate

"We are going to march through the states of México and we are going to arrive at the City to represent our people, to make our demands of recognition as indigenous Mexicans and not as beings who are not human. We are going to speak with the people so that they tell us their word and we tell them our word because already we see that civil society understands us. For me, being indigenous can mean not being valued, not being taken into account, because we don't have knowledge and we don't have schools where we can study. But already it's no longer a pain being indigenous because this means that we are Mexicans and this makes us very proud. It makes us proud to be Indians and to be Mexicans, to be both."

- Comandante Daniel

Comandanta Fidelia

Tzeltal Delegate

"We are going to Mexico City to demand our rights together with other brothers and sisters. Together will all the indigenous women of Mexico we will demand our rights, because as women it's a given that we have more troubles, but just the same, we are brave. I, as a woman, feel very proud to be as I am. The law on indigenous rights that the Cocopa wrote clearly recognizes us as women and makes it clear that our integrity must be respected. Because of that, we support this law and because of that we fight together with our compañeros in the struggle. I hope that I am going to meet with other women who share my thinking and with others, still, who think differently. We think that that would be fine because that is how an even bigger and better idea will be formed and it will make us stronger to continue fighting for our rights as indigenous and as women."

- Comandanta Fidelia

Comandante Eduardo

Tzeltal Delegate

"We have to convince the legislators to approve the law of indigenous rights and culture, and also so that they see the peasant brothers, the workers, the indigenous, the students and others, that we are with them and we are like them. I am very proud to be indigenous because he have found this struggle and I am fighting against poverty and the oblivion of our people. I am very content, I am a fighter, and I am hopeful that everything is going to go well."

- Comandante Eduardo

Comandante Javier

Tzotzil Delegate

"As a member of the Clandestine Revolutionary Indigenous Commitee I'm going to Mexico City to speak with the legislators and tell them to respect the San Andrés Accords on indigenous rights and culture. We are also going as delegates to take new steps so that our struggle advances, because we have to move forward in the recognition of our peoples. We also going to speak and explain to other brothers from other states who support us to demand the compliance with the three signals so the dialogue can begin. For me, being indigenous is to make it known that we are part of México, that is, we are some of the peoples of this nation, but we still don't have the right to live as human beings. To be indigenous means that I am not recognized in the laws of the federal and state governments."

- Comandante Javier

Comandante Omar

Tzeltal Delegate

"Being indigenous, I feel that it is something very important because I have my own way of speaking, my culture and my traditions. That is to say, I am different and I should have my right to be different. But in all of this, I feel that they don't let us be because we are not recognized. To the contrary, we are humilliated in many ways, because the systems have tried to destroy my culture, my language and my difference, but I have resisted. I am content because I am fighting to achieve this right to be different and I am hopeful that it will be respected because it will also include all the indigenous of the country. That's why I'm going to the city. That's why I'm going to the states: to speak my word and to see them."

- Comandante Omar

Comandante Maxo

Tzeltal Delegate

"We're going to leave the jungle and here we go to Mexico, that is, the City, to promote the law on indigenous rights and culture that the Cocopa peace commission wrote to the legislators. We are going to speak with the people about the three signals that we ask before sitting down to dialogue with the government. We are going to speak our word and listen to the word of other peoples. To be indigenous is to be a poor being that doesn't have anything more than his culture and his dignity. Because we are so poor is why we fight. It saddens us sometimes because the governments want to eliminate us as indigenous. We feel sad because the government is taking away everything that is ours. That is why we fight."

- Comandante Maxo

Comandante Mister

Tojolabal Delegate

"We're going to Mexico City to speak with the congressmen and senators to demand compliance with indigenous rights and culture, that the San Andrés Accords are complied with. We think and we believe that by speaking with civil society and other indigenous in this route, we will be able to convince more people to make our demands their own, and together we will demand peace, so that a war of bullets will not be necessary and that we achieve our demands through peaceful means. We're also going to understand other ways of thinking, other hearts, other customs, other poor brothers. For us, being indigenous has meant being disregarded by the powerful. But being indigenous means that we have the blood of the first that came to these lands many years ago. This means that we are not over yet, that we exist, and that we deserve to be part of this nation."

- Comandante Mister

Comandante Ismael

Tzeltal Delegate

"I'm going to Mexico City to obligate the congressmen and senators that the San Andrés Accords that were signed on February 16, 1996, are complied with. We are going to explain to other organizations why this is important for our peoples and our nation. As an indigenous I feel very much at peace because I am seeing that by fighting we can participate and get them to listen to us. I'm content because every day we are more united as indigenous to seek what we don't have, that is, our rights. Already I have seen that having money is not necessary to unite ourselves as a people. What's more important is the unity we are making as indigenous together with our brothers who are not indigenous."

- Comandante Ismael

Comandanta Esther

Tzeltal Delegate

"I am going with my compañeros and compañeras to speak with the Congress of the Union. I go as a woman and as an indigenous, because this mobilization is necessary so that the legislators listen to us and because the recuperation of dignity is necessary. We are, as Mexican women, speaking our language, we have our way of dress, our medicine, our forms of praying and of dancing. We, as indigenous men and women, have our own way of working and of respecting our elders, just as our grandparents taught us to do. Since the times of our ancestors they taught us to resist and to organize ourselves. They don't need to undervalue us because we are indigenous or have our own language or because we are dark-skinned, or for any reason. Being indigenous is a very great pride."

- Comandanta Esther

Comandante Alejandro

Tzeltal Delegate

"We're going to Mexico City to achieve that they recognize our existence as indigenous and as Mexicans. We are going to tell the Congress that now is the time because many years have already passed since they took away our rights. We are going to speak with indigenous brothers and with civil society. We are going to ask them to mobilize to demand our existence. Being indigenous, for me, means not being outside of my country, but to feel proud of being indigenous. Being indigenous means for me a treasure that I must not lose. To the contrary, I should continue conserving and strengthening it so as to not lose it."

- Comandante Alejandro

Comandante Filemón

Tzeltal Delegate

"We're going to the big city to dialogue with the deputies and senators in charge of making the laws. We're going to tell them to respect the agreement signed on Indigenous Rights and Culture by the Zedillo government. We are going to explain to them well what the law made by the Cocopa says. We are going to speak, for this we are going. As indigenous peoples, being indigenous represents being forgotten, as if we don't exist, but the truth is that here we are and we live daily under much exploitation. Being indigenous means poverty, hunger and illness. But it also means that we are part of this land of Mexico. We are millions of indigenous in all of Mexico and now it is going to be seen tht we all want the same thing, that is, respect."

- Comandante Filemón

Comandante Gustavo

Tzeltal Delegate

"We are going to Mexico City to enliven our indigenous and non-indigenous brothers, to tell them that what we deserve is a Mexico for everyone. To say to them that we should demand our rights as indigenous and to ask that they support us by approving the law made by the Cocopa. We are going to march and dialogue so that we are included in the Constitution. For me, being indigenous is to be very proud and content, because there are many of us and because we fight and our struggle is an example for others. Being indigenous is to be proud but it is also to be poor, it's the same."

- Comandante Gustavo

Comandante Sergio

Tzeltal Delegate

"I'm going to speak with the deputies and senators who are in charge of the Nation, so that they approve the law that the Cocopa wrote four years ago. The previous federal government didn't want to comply with it and now we are going to defend it directly. I go as an indigenous to demand our recognition under law, so that the Constitution establishes all of my rights as an indigenous person. Thise is why I go as a delegate of the Clandestine Revolutionary Indigenous Committee. I am indigenous but I still don't have my rights. I have my customs and my language and it is not respected. I also have traditions and culture. But I don't have the right to be recognized in the Constitution. I am indigenous and I am also Mexican."

- Comandante Sergio

Comandante Zebedeo

Tzeltal Delegate

"We're going to the city to speak with the people and dialogue with the representatives of the political parties in the Congress of the Union, to personally propose to them the importance of recognizing the San Andrés Accords on indigenous culture and rights. We know that these San Andrés Agreements are not just the proposal of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation, but also on the dialogue table that includes all the indigenous brothers and sisters of our country. Thus, we are going to convince the deputies and senators that they legislate, that is to say, that they convert these agreements into law under the Constitution, to guarantee now the rights of the indian peoples of the entire country. We want to achieve a consensus respecting the original proposal of the Cocopa. This mobilization is very important, because being indigenous before 1994 meant being ashamed of the discrimination against our language, our customs and our being. We are treated like animals and not taken into account as persons, not to mention as Mexicans. But now, since the Zapatista struggle, we the indigenous are demonstrating the good news of hope for plain respect of indigenous rights."

- Comandante Zebedeo

Comandante Abel

Chol Delegate

"We go to Mexico to the Congress of the Uniont to defend the legislation that the Cocopa wrote in 1996. This proposal is about indigenous culture and rights and if it is approved the Indian peoples will change their history. That's why we go to speak with civil society, with the people that support this demand, and with all the indigenous peoples who want to accompany is in such an important march. For me, being indigenous means that we are different than other peoples because we have our own way of thinking and customs. We have our way of communal work and we have our language. But it also means that we are Mexicans."

- Comandante Abel

Comandante Isaías

Tzotzil Delegate

"We are going to march and visit the states in representation of our Zapatista towns. We are going to reclaim the rights that belong to us and are not recognized. We are going to tell them that we, the indigenous peoples, want the Cocopa law approved, because it would recognize us. The indigenous sentiment, for me, is what represents my Mayan ancestors, who were the authentic and first owners of these lands of the Mexican South. Being indigenous means a lot of pride and a lot of struggle."

- Comandante Isaías

Comandanta Susana

Tzotzil Delegate

"We are going to represent the Zapatista women and we are going to speak in the Congress of the Union to ask them to place indigenous rights and culture in the Constitution. That's why we are going to march and why we go to Mexico City. Being indigenous women represents that we have our way of thinking, that we have dignity and that we need rights. Being an indigenous woman is a pride but it is also difficult, very difficult, because there is suffering and discrimination, and there is poverty. That's why, as indigenous women, we want to be recognized in the laws of the Constitution and for them to respect our dignity, as the Cocopa law says."

- Comandanta Susana

Comandante David

Tzotzil Delegate

"I go to Mexico with the goal of meeting with the indigenous and non-indigenous peoples of the entire country during the march. I am going to demand, together with the other 23 compañeros of the Zapatista delegation, the recognition of indigenous culure and rights. We are going to discuss the legislation that the Cocopa made about indigenous culture and rights. We are going to explain directly to the indigenous and non-indigenous brothers of the country that indigenous rights are for the good of all the peoples and for the peaceful co-existence of all Mexicans. For me, being indigenous means the nature of mankind. It means that we indigenous were the first on these lands but we were chased off and abandoned. We were marginalized and the object of every kind ot trick and manipulation to satisfy foreign interests. That's why we fight, so that there will be no more abandonment and no more pain."

- Comandante David

Comandante Moisés

Tzeltal Delegate

"We are going to converse with other brothers and sisters from many states and Mexico City, and make them understand our fight. We are going to invite them to join our peaceful fight to demand strict compliance with the San Andrés Accords. We want it written in the Constitution that we, the indigenous, are Mexicans but we have differences in culture and traditions. Before 1994, being indigenous was not valued, was being mistreated and humilliation. But now with our fight being indigenous walks with its head held high an with pride. The Great Mexico that we have today is thanks to our ancestors. We, the indigenous, have our way of understanding the world that surrounds us, and that's why we have resisted for almost 509 years. That's why today we still have our musical instruments, our language and our customs, because they have not been able to destroy us with all their might."

- Comandante Moisés

Comandante Tacho

Tojolabal Delegate

"We go to Mexico City to go to the Congress of the Union to propose compliance with the San Andrés Accords. We want to ask the legislative branch that it makes the legislation of the Cocopa into law. We are going on the move because of the importance that this law means for we indigenous of all of Mexico. If this law of Cocopa is approved, the path of peace will be opened for us. In this trip to Mexico City we will speak with our indigenous brothers and sisters of Mexico. We will meet them and speak with them. For us, being indigenous today s a pride because before we were obligated to deny ourselves. I have and speak the tojolabal language. We live with community customs and we have our ways of respecting others. Being indigenous is having our culture, our belief that on earth one dies and lives. We don't sell our land as merchandise because the earth is the mother that maintains us."

- Comandante Tacho

Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos

Mestizo Delegate

"We go to Mexico City through 12 states of the Republic because our objective is to speak with the Congress of the Union. But it is also to sepak with civil society and with the indian peoples of other parts of Mexico. We think that the struggle for indigenous rights is not just our own, it is of all the indigenous peoples of Mexico. We we also think that it is not only for the indigenous, but also for all Mexican men and women. This country has to recognize its original peoples, to accept them as they are and respect them. We are going to speak with the Congress of the Union because it's their turn to make law, and this law by the Cocopa means a great advance for the indian peoples of the entire country. Being indigenous today in Mexico means fighting for the respect and dignity of everyone who is excluded and under-valued. It means fighting for the indigenous, but also for women, youth, children, for homosexuals and lesbians, for the handicapped, for the elders, in the end, for everyone who is different."


On to Mexico City!

to read these statements in the original Spanish...

or translated from Tzeltal, Tzotzil, Chol or Tojolabal...

The Official Zapatista Caravan Page:

for more info in English...

English Language Zapatista Caravan Page

Communiqué and Credentialing Info from...

Indigenous National Congress

Write to us at:


Previous Narco News Stories on the Struggle:

Nine Months of Immediate History:

The Televisa-Azteca Counter-Concert

June 2000 Series on the Narco in Chiapas

Part 1: Welcome to Chiapas

Part 2: Tapachula: Gateway to the Cocaine Trail

Part 3: Drugs, the Official Passport to the North

Part 4: Why Some drugs Are Seized

Part 5: The Rebels, Not the Government, Slowed the Drug Trade
Part 6: Chabal Tak'in: "There is no Money"
Part 7: The Colonel and His Troops
Part 8: The State Police Station
Part 9: Drug War Political Prisoners at Cerro Hueco

July and August Election Coverage

Marcos on July 2, 2000 Elections

Marcos on the Media

August 21 Analysis of Chiapas Election

Mexican Transition Series

(November 2000 to Present)

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

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

(includes translation of the San Andrés Agreement)

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"

VIII. The Fine Print: Two More EZLN Communiqués

IX. New Years 2001: Zapatistas Beat Army

X. Zapatista Caravan Communiqué

Amnesty 2000: Update on Political Prisoners

The Narco News Bulletin features reports from throughout América

Subscribe to Free Mailing List

We break the Information Blockade on the Failed War on Drugs

We Tell the Truth About U.S. Meddling in Sovereign Affairs

We Are Being Sued by Mexico's Wealthiest Banker

It's An Honor

For more information click the Banner:

And the Wind Began to Howl...