About the Zapatista delegates


March 1, 1999.

To the People of Mexico:
To the state coordinators and authorities for the Consulta:
To social, political, citizens and non-governmental organizations:
To Mexican men and women:

Brothers and sisters.

We greet you all.

As it is known, the EZLN has launched the Consulta initiative as a peace initiative and as a broad, open and inclusive mobilization to help the end of the war of extermination and in the recognition of the rights of the Indian peoples.

Now we are addressing you once more in order to let you know the following:

Considering that:

The zapatista delegates will be carrying the voice and the ears of the EZLN. - The zapatista delegates who will be visiting the municipalities in the country in order to promote the Consulta are EZLN support bases. All of them are Mexican indigenous. They are political leaders from various levels of the EZLN. They have been given - by thousands of zapatista communities and the CCRI-CG of the EZLN - the mission of visiting all the municipalities in the country for the purpose of promoting the recognition of the rights of the Indian peoples and for an end to the war of extermination.

The EZLN speaks through the voice of the delegates, the EZLN hears through their ears.

The zapatista delegates to the Consulta carry a mandate for dialogue and peace. The zapatista delegates to the Consulta do not have any military position in the EZLN. They go with no arms other than those conferred by reason, the word, history and dignity. They are going to the municipalities as delegates of an initiative of peace and dialogue, they are not going to recruit nor to promote armed rebellions. They are going to dialogue with the people of the municipalities, to be heard, and, above all, to listen directly to the feelings and the thoughts of Mexican men and women.

And, keeping in mind a broad, open and inclusive mobilization, we are making public the criteria which should be followed, for the organizing of the state coordinations, as well as for drawing up the agenda of activities for the zapatista delegates in the different municipalities in the country:

1. Any person, brigade or social and political organization may form part of a state organization. It is not only brigades that may be part of a coordination. Social and political organizations - and everyone interested in being part of the Consulta work - in any of its stages and in any of the activities arising from this initiative - can freely do so. There are no requirements for being part of a coordination, nor for working for the Consulta. If there are no social organizations participating in the coordination, their inclusion should not only not be limited, but the coordination should seek them out and encourage their participation.

2. The state coordination should promote and facilitate meetings between the zapatista delegates and those requesting them. - The zapatista delegates will be meeting with all the persons, social organizations, citizens organizations and political organizations who request them to do so, including political parties, regardless of their political affiliation and ideology.

Our delegates will not refuse to meet with anyone, without importance to their size, weight, color, race, language, political party, position, income level, sexual preference, profession, etcetera, with the single exception that we will be noting.

3. State coordinators should bear in mind that everyone may attend the zapatistas' public activities. - All the public activities in which the zapatista delegates will be participating will be open and public, with the exception of private meetings and specific interviews that the delegates accept with organizations and media.

4. State coordinators may not restrict access to any media to the activities and events in which zapatista delegates will be participating. - No media will be prevented from carrying out their work in the public activities in which the zapatista delegates will be participating.

5. Everyone, whether or not they are part of a coordination, may propose the holding of public activities in which the zapatistas would participate. - The agenda drawn up by the coordinator will have to include events with different social actors in the state or municipality (various unions, parties, universities, businesspersons, schools, churches, etcetera), even though they are not part of the coordination.

The coordinators will have to organize activities and events in the widest number of places in their area, keeping in mind that, although the primary criteria is that of visiting popular zones, the organization of activities in other zones should not be discarded. The state coordinators will have to organize an agenda which tries to include activities in all the municipalities in their state (or the majority of them).

The zapatista delegates will attend, and attend to, both invitations to mass activities, as well as those which facilitate direct and personal meetings with the people.

Brothers and sisters:

As you can see, we want to meet with anyone who wishes it, where it is possible. We ask that you help us to make this Consulta a broad, open and inclusive mobilization, a mobilization that will be a step in the struggle for the recognition and respect for differences.

Vale. Salud and may there be many doors and windows for all.

>From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast.
Subcomandante insurgente Marcos.


Originally published in Spanish by the EZLN _____________________ Translated by irlandesa

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