There is a long-running relationship of support and solidarity between these two groups. Do consider joining the National and International Campaign "Freedom and Justice for Atenco"! Many thanks to my compa Lopex for this excellent translation...
LETTER FROM THE PEOPLE’S FRONT IN DEFENSE OF THE LAND-ATENCO
TO THE ZAPATISTA ARMY OF NATIONAL LIBERATION (EZLN)
TO THE ZAPATISTA ARMY OF NATIONAL LIBERATION (EZLN)
San Salvador Atenco, May 3, 2009.
TO THE CCRI-CG OF THE EZLN.
TO THE SIXTH COMMISSION.
TO THE GOOD GOVERNMENT COUNCILS.
TO THE SUPPORT BASES.
TO ALL ZAPATISMO.
SISTERS AND BROTHERS.
When it all began for us, many people told us: “You cannot beat the government.” Back then in 2001, when they condemned us to extermination and to the loss of our history and identity in order to build an airport, we knew that it must not be so, that we had to fight to defeat the idea that things are that way and nobody can change them.
At that time, we looked all around, we looked for others that, like us, were also fighting, we wanted to follow that path to walk it together, because we knew we were not the only ones. We must tell you that you could be seen in all places, there was a great trail full of dignity and hope that announced your presence, there was no need to ask who you were, we always found the brilliant eyes and the soft hands of resistance, of the small women and men that showed us the path built by justice and freedom. In their wake they also sheltered us in their brotherly embrace of solidarity. This is how we met, on the same path, side by side, with your happy and rebellious smile that, reflected on our machete, would light our way. Since you had come from afar and we found you as you walked, we did not hesitate, we decided to follow your steps and open other paths for those who would follow.
We want to tell you that we have learnt the meaning of life from you: To fight and to resist. From your strong shout we learned the message that we owe life: Rebellious dignity. From its heart, which moves the world, we took the only true reason for struggle: Love. This is how we, like many others, took from your hidden face the identity of the hidden, those who refuse to be invisible because they assume their role in history, those who become the motors of humanity’s march. This is how we recognized ourselves in your humble word and in your skin bathed in earth. In Atenco we know that your word is now part of the history of the universe and that your struggle already lives in our hearts. In this time people will call you zapatistas; we do not only call you that, we also call you and recognize you as our brothers and sisters.
You must know that after several months of direct confrontation with bad governments in 2001 and 2002, we achieved what we knew was possible, we defended our land, we blessed it with our struggle and prevented Fox and Montiel from despoiling us of the most sacred: Our mother earth. This is how we brought down the most important project of the Fox administration, the International Airport of Mexico City. It was then that we understood our role in history, we understood that things are not this way because someone decides, but that we too can decide what to do when faced with a decision from the powerful. When we prevailed in July and August of 2002 we confirmed what we already knew: “The government can be beaten.” From then until now, nothing can stop us, no matter how dark and stormy the path, since that time we know that victory lies at the end of our path.
However, as you well know, on the path of The Other Campaign, when we rode along with you back in 2005 and 2006, we had to once again confront the powerful. On May 3 and 4 of 2006 they undertook a violent State action, murdered two of our brothers, raped our sisters, detained 207 people, searched our homes, tortured and occupied our communities. They brought out all of their contained rage, charged at us with all their strength, once more they tried to exterminate us, they wanted to finish off the People’s Front in Defense of the Land and strike at the Mexican social movement. Throughout that period you were in our struggle, taking on as yours a fight that had in its wake a victory and an affront to the powerful. However –as you know well- in 2006 Atenco was only one more instance of violence in the Mexican State, the repression in Sicartsa had take place before, then came Oaxaca and electoral fraud. 2006 marked the Right’s offensive against the social movements that today sees its resurgence as the army leaves its barracks to carry out public safety functions, in a war disguised as one against so-called “organized crime.” Throughout this period you, brothers and sisters, have been with us, from here we received all the calls for solidarity from our imprisoned and persecuted brothers; from Atenco we know that in the zapatista heart there will always be a small place for those who are equal, that there will always be the serious and committed promise of its rebellious fight.
But we also know that you are still fighting a low-intensity war against bad government. That the situation in which you find yourselves is a war less hidden each day, of confrontations with diverse forces, of attrition and constant blows. That on both fronts they are trying to undermine resistance, wanting to put an end to one of the most important social processes in Mexico and in the world. This explains the aggression suffered these days by our indigenous brothers of the San Sebastian Bachajon cooperative, in the Chilón municipality, when they were detained and tortured by Juan Sabines’ government, being accused of robbery and drug-trafficking; likewise, the recent armed aggression suffered by the compañeros of the Caracol IV Good Government Council, in Morelia, who were in charge of the El Salvador resort, suffered at the hands of the paramilitary Organization For The Defense Of Indigenous People And Peasants (Opddic). We know that aggression against the EZLN is always latent, because you have built a counterpower able to confront the State, that your process is a very important effort to build democracy from below and that a blow against you would be a victory for the political and economic powers of not only Mexico, but of the world. Because of that, we say to you that we are with you, that the zapatista struggle is our struggle and, as much as possible, as much as we are able, we are with you, brothers and sisters.
We also reaffirm our fight for the freedom of 12 compañeros and 2 others who are fugitives; 9 of them are Alejandro Pilón Zacate, Jorge Alberto Ordóñez Romero, Román Adán Ordóñez Romero, Juan Carlos Estrada Cruces, Julio César Espinosa Ramos, Inés Rodolfo Cuellar Rivera, Edgar Eduardo Morales, Oscar Hernández Pacheco y Narciso Arellano Hernández, who are in the Molino de Flores Prison, Texcoco, Mexico State, sentenced to 31 years, 10 months and 15 days of imprisonment; Felipe Álvarez, Héctor Galindo and Ignacio Del Valle (Nacho) are imprisoned in the maximum security prison of El Altiplano, in Almoloya de Juárez, Mexico State, the first two sentenced to 67 and a half years, while Nacho is sentenced to 112 and a half years; on top of this, they have another three arrest warrants pending; in the same way, Adán Espinosa Rojas and América Del Valle are declared fugitives facing arrest warrants. To gain their freedom we constituted the Promoting Committee of the National and International Campaign “Freedom and Justice for Atenco,” made up among many by Don Samuel Ruíz, Don Raúl Vera, Manu Chao, Ofelia Medina, Julieta Egurrola, Luis Villoro, Ricardo Rocha, Bruno Bichir, Demián Bichir, Alejandro Bichir, Odiseo Bichir, Diego Luna, Luís Hernández Navarro, Paco Ignacio Taibo II, Daniel Giménez Cacho, Adolfo Gilly, Alejandro Toledo, Miguel Ángel Granados Chapa, Carlos Montemayor, Miguel Concha, Rocco, Rubén Albarran, Los de Abajo, Asian Dub Foundation, Las Reinas Chulas, Ana Francis Mor, Jorge Zarate and other compañeros who are joining up. With them we intend that their voice will raise the demand for freedom and justice for our movement, because their voice reaches other sectors that we have not reached and also because we want it to be a voice that will make a deep impression in our country’s and the world’s collective memory.
As our elder grandfather Nezahualcóyotl, whose lot in life was for a long time persecution and repression from Tezozomoc, king of Azcapotzalco, we have decided that we do not want to live in that condition, but will instead learn from the Triple Alliance that gave the Poet King his victory, to defeat the tyrant and achieve the Acolhua-chichimeca Kingdom’s splendor.
It is because of this that they have not beaten us thus far, that despite the hardening of Felipe Calderón and Enrique Peña Nieto, the Front of Peoples in Defense of The Earth is not defeated, and we know that the more our enemy’s profile grows, the bigger our victory will be, because they will not last 112 years in power.
Brothers and sisters, we will keep struggling until we gain freedom for our political prisoners and fugitives, but what we are really fighting for is for the liberation of our peoples, because we are aware that the powerful can be defeated and we will do so.
We send our combative and brotherly regards to the whole Zapatista Army of National Liberation.
FREE THE POLITICAL PRISONERS!
(¡PRESOS POLÍTICOS LIBERTAD!)
SHOULDER TO SHOULDER, ELBOW TO ELBOW, THE EZLN IS ALL OF US!
(¡HOMBRO CON HOMBRO, CODO CON CODO, EL EZLN SOMOS TODOS!)
WHEN THE PEOPLE RISE UP FOR BREAD, FREEDOM AND LAND, THE POWERFUL WILL TREMBLE FROM THE COAST TO THE MOUNTAINS!
(¡CUANDO EL PUEBLO SE LEVANTE POR PAN, LIBERTAD Y TIERRA, TEMBLARAN LOS PODEROSOS DE LA COSTA HASTA LA SIERRA!)
People’s Front in Defense of the Land - Atenco.
Translation to English by Lopex