Originally published in Spanish by the EZLN
Translated by irlandesa
Opening Words by the EZLN
For the Second Preparation Meeting for the Other Campaign
Indigenous organizations and Indian peoples
Saturday, August 13, 2005
Community of Javier Hernández
Words of Welcome from Comandante Gustavo
Good day to everyone. Welcome, indigenous brothers and sisters throughout Mexico. In the name of my compañero comandantes from the Clandestine Revolutionary Indigenous Committee, General-Command of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation, I would like to thank all the Indian peoples of Mexico who have come here to this place at the invitation of the Sixth Declaration of the Selva Lacandona.
Welcome to all the indigenous organizations who are here with us. We are here to listen to your words, in order to inform the peoples where we work and the rest of the Clandestine Revolutionary Committee…We hope that you will be happy, even though we have received you with but little, but we are very happy to have you. That is all for today. Thank you. We will turn the word over to Comandanta Kelly.
Words of Welcome from Comandanta Kelly
Good day to everyone. In the name of my compañera comandantas from the Clandestine Revolutionary Indigenous Committee, General-Command of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation, we are welcoming most cordially all the women of the Indian peoples of Mexico. We are greeting you all and all of us as women, we have the right to participate, to engage in any kind of work; the right to govern ourselves and to organize as women; to have our cultures respected, our languages as the women we are. Let us learn to struggle together, to walk so that in that way we will have the strength to do our work. We demand that our rights as indigenous be respected. That is why we are fighting for the thirteen demands. That is why we are organizing the Sixth Declaration of the Selva Lacandona, so we can walk together. We hope you will be happy and pleased. We are here to listen to your words and opinions. That is all. Thank you very much.
And we are also giving the word to compañero:
Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos
Good day. Welcome to everyone…
…Well, compañeros, compañeras, who come from various parts of the Republic and from various indigenous organizations. We would first like to talk to you about this place where we are. This was a finca prior to the ’94 uprising. It was called San Juan. The finquero put the peons to work, to clear the land in order to make a field, and he said he wasn’t going to pay them until he saw the [finished] work. So then the brothers cleared the mountain. The finquero took a long time getting back, and when he returned the growth had reappeared. Then he told them: no, you didn’t clear it well. And he didn’t pay them, and there had been days and days of work, and so this finquero just cheated them. Since there wasn’t any water, the compañeros had to make a well in order to get water. The finquero wouldn’t let them walk through the land, making them walk through a ravine. Then he left them without water, and he also treated them like animals, worse than animals, because the animals didn’t even have to go through that ravine. He then forbade the people there from crossing his land, and he ordered the vaqueros to pursue the people of the village who entered his land, or he passed through it. And, see, there were a lot of pigs there, in the village. And sometimes they went on the finca land. The vaqueros grabbed the pigs, they killed them and they ate them. There wasn’t any indemnification or anything of the kind.
In 1994, on the first of January, the finquero fled. The finca’s status remained uncertain until it was known what accords the government was going to reach. Finally, the San Andrés Accords were not fulfilled, and the Agrarian Commission of the Rebel Zapatista Autonomous Municipality, the municipality called Francisco Gómez, divided up the land to campesinos sin tierra from several villages, and they named it Javier Hernández. Javier Hernández was a compañero from here in Carmen Pataté, a Militia sergeant for the EZLN who disappeared during the combat in Ocosingo in January of 1994. He’s one of several compañeros who we presumed died, and he was one of those who appeared in the first photos in ’94, shot in the head. The federal government never said what happened to those compañeros. He has been disappeared ever since then. We assume he died in combat, and his body was buried in a common grave. That is the history of this place where we are, compañeros. Welcome, then. The name, I remind you, is Javier Hernández. It was a finca, and now it belongs to the campesinos.