Marcos invites the government's delegates to a community consultation


May 24, 1995

To: National Commission of Mediation (CONAI)
Chiapas, Mexico

From: Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos
CCRI-CG of the EZLN
Chiapas, Mexico

Brothers:

By orders from my companeros of the Clandestine Revolutionary Indigenous Committee--General Command of the Zapatista Army for National Liberation, I am writing to you the following:

I want to report that we have finished the first phase of the consultation regarding the latest proposal from the government. All of the members of the CCRI-CG of the EZLN and the regional leaders have now been informed and consulted. Now we will consult with the local leaders and base communities.

At the time of the last meeting for dialogue between the EZLN and the federal government, our delegates argued that they needed time to consult with the Zapatista bases before coming to an agreement. The government representatives stated that 20 days was too much time for a consultation. That they (the government's delegates) were willing to go wherever necessary so that it could be shown that the Zapatistas exaggerate, and that we were only trying to buy time and avoid making commitments. Our delegates responded by inviting the government's delegates to attend a consultation in a Zapatista community so that they could see the truth for themselves. The Zapatista delegates invited the government, Comcopa, the national and international press, (and everyone else who has doubts about the consultations and the amount of time it takes for communication to get through to the Zapatista communities), to attend, WITHOUT HELICOPTERS and walk to a consultation.

To follow-up on this invitation, and by orders from the CCRI-CG of the EZLN, by means of this letter we formally invite the government's delegation to a consultation in a community in the Lacandon jungle in Chiapas.

The conditions for attending this consultation are the following:

First.- No type of vehicle, other than feet (just like our delegates) can be used. They will arrive at one of the sites where our delegates are picked up for each meeting of the dialogue, and where they are returned at the end of each session.

>From this point, and until returning to this point, they will have to walk to get to the village where the consultation will be held.

Second.- No one from the government except those people who are members of the government's delegation to the dialogue in San Andres can attend. Only the legislators who belong to Comcopa can attend. Only those members of the national and international press who are accredited by CONAI can attend.

Third.- Each person has to carry his belongings. He can not be accompanied by porters, aides-de-camp, or assistants.

Fourth.- The government's representatives should make a public commitment that there will be no military attacks against the community where the meeting will be held. That is to say, to make a commitment not to do what Esteban Moctezuma Barragan did to the people of Guadalupe Tepeyac.

Fifth.- Once in the community, if they arrive, they will have to follow the rules that govern the community, and they only will be allowed to speak when the community's assembly gives them the floor.

So. These are the conditions. For those who want to attend, they will be awaited on May 31, 1995 in the communal farm of La Realidad, in the municipality of San Pedro de Michoacan, Chiapas.

From there they will go on foot to the site of the consultation.

That's all. I ask that some representative of CONAI be present that day in order to certify that the participants have complied with the conditions.

Vale.
Health and that as words go out, it is the true ones which go farthest.

Respectfully.

>From the mountains of Southeastern Mexico.
Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos
Mexico, May 1995

P.S. Oh! I forgot: the companeros calculate that it will take two days of walking (we have to get around the federal garrisons) just to get there, and another two days to get back. So that there isn't any problem, they will get back in time for the third meeting on June 7th in San Andres. The community is in the heart of the jungle; so, for those who arrive alive, I will be happy to greet them personally. I can even give them a guided tour of our headquarters. Now, that's all. I wait for you here...


La Jornada May 30 pg. 15


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