National Indigenous Congress and Indigenous Governing Council Communiqué on the 25th Anniversary of the Armed Uprising of the Zapatista Army for National Liberation
To the Zapatista Army for National Liberation:
To the CIG Support Networks:
To the Networks of Resistance and Rebellion:
To the Mexican people:
To the peoples of the world:
To the media:
The peoples, nations, and tribes who make up the National Indigenous Congress and the Indigenous Governing Council proudly salute the 25th anniversary of the armed uprising of the Zapatista Army for National Liberation. As of January 1, 1994, we stopped demanding justice by asking for handouts and began exercising our rights, not just in Chiapas but in every indigenous corner of our country.
That day marked a new chapter of our collective life. With heads held high, we now walk in the footsteps of our ancestors and plant the seeds of generations to come, determined to continue to live as peoples, nations, and tribes.
Given the war unleashed upon us, we see ourselves reflected in the path walked by the Zapatista indigenous communities. We know that threats against us abound, all in the name of riches for the few, while the only options offered us are to migrate and leave our territories behind, to mourn our dead in the face of so much violence, pollution, persecution and incarceration, and to settle for fear and resignation.
We peoples of the CNI know that the bad governments act in the name of those who have so much already and still want everything. We’ve confronted the formation of “shock troops”, of paramilitary groups and now of narco-paramilitaries, which the bad government presents as factions of “internal divisions” among our peoples in order to claim that the conflict is between those who want to give up our lands and natural resources to the owners of capital and those who do not. We know well the strategies the indigenist institutions of the bad government use to deceive our people and create divisions that result in the deaths of our compañeros and compañeras who have chosen dignity, resistance and rebellion.
The INPI [National Institute of Indigenous Peoples] and its so-called “new indigenist politics” are in fact an intensification of the offensive against life, an attempt to weaken the originary peoples’ struggle for autonomy—a struggle which resists the devastation imposed from above. The CNI and our compañeros from the Indigenous Governing Council do not believe that capitalist overseer who claims to govern Mexico, and we will not accept any false “referendum” held to legitimize the escalation of the war against us, the theft of indigenous and peasant lands, and our extermination. We will not die willingly no matter how many thousands or millions of votes they say have decided this fate.
The deep, real, and irrevocable steps we are taking as originary peoples echo those of the EZLN and the Zapatista indigenous communities. This “we” includes media workers, cooperatives, and community patrols; it includes primary, middle and high schools; it includes ancient languages and cosmovisions, and we are betting on a future that those in power cannot even imagine. We are the ones who will resist, everywhere, the destruction heralded by those above as if it were a “democratic” distribution of benefits.
As the capitalist war intensifies, we will also intensify our resistance and rebellion. The mining concessions already handed out, the megaprojects in the Tehuantepec isthmus, the immoral Mayan Train project, the devastation and privatization implied by commercial tree planting and industrial logging operations in the Lacandón Jungle, and the territorial transfer to big capital control inherent to the Special Economic Zones will run up against the real power, that from below: a power that doesn’t give in, give up or sell out, because to do so would mean the death of our peoples.
We respectfully send our greetings and a collective, fraternal embrace to the Indigenous Revolutionary Clandestine Committee–General Command of the Zapatista Army for National Liberation, to the thousands of milicianos and milicianas, and to the EZLN communities/ bases of support. This is a warning to the bad governments that any aggression against the EZLN is also an aggression against the CNI-CIG, and we therefore call upon the support networks throughout the country and the networks of resistance and rebellion in Mexico and around the world to be alert and organized in order to take coordinated action and build a world in which we can all live.
For the Total Reconstitution of our Peoples
Never Again a Mexico Without Us
Coordinating Commission of the National Indigenous Congress and the Indigenous Governing Council