Zapatista Army for National Liberation
Sixth Commission of the EZLN
September 11, 2008
To the compañeras and compañeros and compañeroas adherents of the Sixth Declaration, the Other Campaign, and the Zezta Internazional:
To whomever feels addressed by these words:
How about this “compañeroa” term? For our part here we are thinking that this way we can resolve that problem of the @ sign, and go a little further. Because, as the deceased Elias Contreras always said, it turns out that... Well, I’m starting off a little muddled. Here we go again:
First of all, receive zapatista greetings. We are writing you all (todos, todas, y todoas) in order to talk a bit about what we’re thinking, as comrades in struggle.
It is not one single thought, however, but rather several. Well, it is one thought but it carries many, that is, it’s a complex thought. Mixed up, you could say. And talking about it and writing about it and discussing it with you all is how we accommodate it, how it comes out clear in the end. So we thought that we’d start first things first.
And the first thing is our compañer@s who were unjustly taken prisoner those first days of May, 2006, in the savage repression against the people of San Salvador Atenco. While some have been freed, others remain unjustly imprisoned, among them the compañero Ignacio del Valle, of the People’s Front in Defense of the Land. And we name him not because we are forgetting or ignoring the rest, but rather because his case is emblematic of the injustice that is a law and an institution in this suffering Mexico.
Well then, you all know more or less what happened, so what we want to talk about now is what we are going to do, as zapatistas and with other compas that aren’t zapatistas but are part of the Other Campaign, that is, compañeras, compañeros and compañeroas.
As of the first days after our compañer@s of the Other Campaign and the People’s Front in Defense of the Land were taken hostage by the federal government (then and now the National Action Party) and the State of Mexico (the PRI), and unjustly imprisoned, a small group of men and women of the Other Campaign set up a small encampment in front of the prison at Santiaguito.
Since then, with perseverance and without any recognition whatsoever, this encampment has maintained itself, first in front of the Santiaguito prison and later, when our prisoners were transferred, in front of the prison Molino de las Flores (also in the state of Mexico). Their demand is and has been that of all of us in the Other Campaign: freedom and justice for Atenco.
But there is more. Over the course of these more than two years, and in adverse conditions, this encampment has accompanied our prisoners and their families, assuring them that they weren’t and aren’t alone, that we have not forgotten.
In these more than two years, dozens of our compas-prisoners have been set free. According to our thinking, this has been thanks to the mobilizations carried out in Mexico and around the world, to the committed work of their legal defenders, and to the tenacity of this small group of compañer@s that, without any attention from the media (though with substantial attention from the federal, state, and municipal police that have not ceased to harass and threaten them), day and night they have raised the call for freedom and justice for Atenco.
In these more than two years, it’s true that some have withdrawn or vacated their presence at the encampment. But there is a nucleus that has remained constant and it is this nucleus that is the assurance to our prisoners that our movement has not and will not abandon them.
As you all know, a few weeks ago that tragic farce that is Mexican legal justice dictated a new and outrageous sentence against our compas in Molino de las Flores and in the high security prison La Palma (Almoloya), in the state of Mexico, adding a link to the already long chain of injustices weighing down our compañer@s.
As of this moment, the EZLN made contact with the compañer@s that have remained firm at the encampment, with some groups, collectives, and organizations who are adherents of the Sixth Declaration, and with some of those who were prisoners and have been released. We have had and have now the goal of re-launching the National and International Campaign demanding liberty and justice for Atenco, and of maintaining a constant bridge to our compas who are still prisoner so that they feel and know that here among us they are not forgotten.
We are speaking of, therefore, not just a few actions, as fleeting as the few lines that were written about this injustice, but rather something longer lasting, constant, and effective.
Among other things, and as a result of these contacts and counsels, a variety of individuals, groups, collectives, and organizations that belong to the Other Campaign, have convened the REINFORCEMENT, IN QUALITY AND QUANTITY, OF THE ENCAMPMENT AT MOLINA DE LAS FLORES, CONVERTING IT INTO A SPACE OF ENCOUNTER OF THE OTHER CAMPAIGN, IN ADDITION TO CONVOKING, AT NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL LEVELS, THE RENEWING OF THE CAMPAIGN TO FREE OUR PRISONERS.
We suggest that we rotate attendance at the encampment, promoting and participating in political-cultural activities in that space, and taking up the contacts that we had made in Mexico and the world to coordinate new activities in demand of justice.
With the National Network against Repression and for Solidarity (made up fundamentally by individuals, groups, collectives, and organizations of the Other Campaign), with the National Independent Union of Popular Organizations of the Left (UNOPII), and with Labor and Socialist Unity (UNIOS), and with various libertarian groups and collectives, as well as with compañeras and compañeros that have supported the Sixth Commission of the EZLN in the Other Campaign, we have agreed upon a calendar of participation and activities that are to begin this September 16th, 2008, on the third anniversary of our movement.
That is why we are writing you. To invite you to attend the encampment at Molino de las Flores, and to participate in the activities to take place there, and to, in your own groups, collectives, and organizations, and in the local, regional, and state work units of the Other Campaign, to propose and carry out actions in demand of liberty and justice for Atenco.
Compañeroas, compañeras, and compañeros:
With this small effort we invite you to say, along with us, and to remind ourselves and everyone else, that WE HAVE NOT FORGOTTEN... not our prisoners nor those who have imposed this injustice upon them.
That is all, compañeros, compañeras and compañeroas. Soon we will send you, on the Third Anniversary of the Other Campaign (that is, September 16 of this year), another convocation for an activity that perhaps will interest you.
Vale. Cheers and may the other reaffirm its existence.
LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ATENCO!
From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast.
Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos.
Mexico, September of 2008.