We would like to tell you that with this act - and I am referring to this act we are participating in right now - we are marking the end of a mobilization begun with the Fifth Declaration of the Selva Lacandona.
A mobilization which began in 1998, and which, in 1999, two years ago, in March, achieved one of its greatest shining moments with the Consulta.
We would like to thank the three million persons who voted that day for the recognition of indigenous rights and culture.
Thank you to those who mobilized then, and thank you to the millions who are mobilizing now.
I would like to give special thanks to my companero chiefs, the Comandantes and Comandantas of the Clandestine Revolutionary Indigenous Committee.
We would also like to send our appreciation, in a greeting which is quite far away in distance, but very close in our hearts, to our zapatista peoples, to the support bases, the men, women, children and old ones of the EZLN.
We would especially also like to thank the indigenous brothers in all the corners of the Republic who came here - the people from civil society of Chiapas, Oaxaca, Puebla, Veracruz, Tlaxcala, Hidalgo, Quere'taro, Guanajuato, Michoaca'n, the State of Mexico, Morelos, Guerrero, the Federal District and Mexico City - who accompanied us throughout this final phase of the mobilization which is called the March of the Color of the Earth.
We want to thank them...we are finished now. Tomorrow we are going to pack our knapsacks and leave for our return journey back to our place.
We want to tell you something, we want to ask you to go to your homes, to your workplaces, and tell your friends, your families, that, thanks to you, a boy called Pedro - Pedrito, we say - is going to be able to return to his house after six years and one month of living in the mountains.
Thanks to you the Tojolabal indigenous community of Guadalupe Tepeyac will no longer have "in exile" as its last name, and now it will once again be just Guadalupe Tepeyac, zapatista.
We would also like to thank the artists and intellectuals who helped us organize this event: the teacher Oscar Cha'vez, the teacher Gabino Palomares? - they said Gabino Barrera on the radio here, does anyone know? - and all those who have helped us. Like it says in that Oscar Cha'vez song - who agreed to my request to sing it, that "along with you we were able to make the world in another way, but it is not done being changed, many things are going to have to be done for it to turn out well, but at least it's not like it was before." We're going.
We can return now, brothers of the National Indigenous Congress. We are not going with empty hands. We are going with them full of all the hands we reached out for. The hands we saluted close up or from a distance, the hands which entwined themselves in the security bands in order to protect us. Those which went to great effort to prepare our food, those which built and equipped the places we spent the night in. Those which wrote us letters and words of support and encouragement. Those which cared for us during the nights and in the dawns, those which were lifted high on that March 11 this year in the capital Zo'calo. Those which were made indignant when the stubbornness of a few tried to close the path of dialogue. The ones which voted yes during the March 22 sessions in the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate. Those which we did not see, but which became tense with anxiety, sharing ours, and which are now applauding, sharing our joy. Our hands are full with your hands, and hands - everyone knows - are the shape which hearts take on when they meet.
Thank you brother, thank you sister, thank you compa, thank you brother, thank you bud, thank you ~ero, thank you ~era, thank you papa, thank you mama, thank you son, thank you daughter, thank you uncle, thank you aunt, thank you brother-in-law, thank you cousin, nephew, niece, godmother, godson and goddaughter.
Thank you Mexico. We're going, really.
Originally published in Spanish by the EZLN ______________________ Translated by irlandesa