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<nettime> Launch of "EZLN: 20 &10: Fire and Word" Campaign
Ricardo Dominguez on Mon, 17 Nov 2003 12:53:45 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> Launch of "EZLN: 20 &10: Fire and Word" Campaign

Launch of "EZLN: 20 &10: Fire and Word" Campaign 

Translated by irlandesa

To the people of Mexico and the peoples of the world:

To the national and international press:

Brothers and sisters:

We are informing you that on this November 17, 2003 it will have been 20
years since the birth of the EZLN.

That is why the Caracoles of Oventic, La Realidad, La Garrucha, Roberto
Barrios and Morelia will be closed to the national and international
press, and to national and international civil society, from November 15
through the 20th of the same month. The same measures will be put into
force in those villages which are predominantly zapatista. Access will not
be allowed during those days. Without exception.

Instead, the EZLN is inviting everyone to those events which Rebeldía
magazine and various social organizations and collectives are organizing
all over the country and on the five continents.

The CCRI-CG of the EZLN will be sending its word to these events, but no
member of the zapatista leadership will be appearing personally at those
events which are being held outside the mountains of the Mexican




>From the mountains of the Mexican southeast.

By the Clandestine Revolutionary Indigenous Committee ? General Command of
the Zapatista Army of National Liberation.

Subcomandante insurgente Marcos.

Mexico, November of 2003.


On November 10, the "EZLN: 20 &10, Fire and Word" campaign will be
launched with the presentation of the book of the same name, written by
Gloria Munoz Ramirez.  It will take place at the Casa Lamm (A'lvaro
Obrego'n 99, colonia Roma)  at 7 PM.

Participating will be: Juan Ba~uelos, Hermann Bellinghausen, Rosario
Ibarra, Javier Elorriaga, Adriana Lo'pez Monjardi'n, Sergio Rodri'guez
Lascano and the author.

There will be a message from Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos.

Below is the introduction to the book, "EZLN: 20 &10, Fire and Word,"  
written by Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos:


Originally published in Spanish by Rebeldi'a and La Jornada 
Translated by irlandesa 


Launch of "EZLN: 20 &10: Fire and Word" Campaign 

Introduction or Presentation (or both things) 

Zapatista Army of National Liberation. 

October of 2003 

To Whom It May Concern: 

It was the year of 1994, and April was on the calendar.  It was the dawn
of the 18th, and the following appeared in the same letter where I wrote
about the "Cinderella syndrome" (Thirteenth Stele, Part 2):

"But it so happened that a journalist interviewed me the other night, and,
among the questions about Zedillo, Salinas, etcetera, one came up that
made me understand everything:  'And what's your opinion about this
romantic stage of the war?' I turned around to see if he was joking, but
no, he was serious and checking to see if the tape was running in his

'Romantic?' I wondered.  That journalist, along with others, had been in
one of the poorest villages in the selva for several days now, sleeping
under the roof of an old school and eating...canned food.  A few meters
from where he was sleeping, a family was eating nothing but beans and
tortillas (and every morning the support base compa~era offered to wash
his clothes or make coffee for the 'compa~eros from the city').  They had
zapatista guards day and night, and we were sleeping just a few meters
from them.  'If this is romantic to him, who's close to us,' I asked
myself, 'What must it be for those who are far away?'"

A few hours after the "romantic" question, and along with the fog of fever
that had been plaguing me for three days, we had to activate defense
measures when we found out about the news of the armed attack against the
military checkpoint in Tuxtla.  We got the few journalists who were there
out.  No one liked it.  I noticed, in fact, a marked annoyance on the part
of all journalists whenever they had to experience a red alert.  It throws
them off balance, they feel as if they're being attacked for no reason,
"Why, if nothing's going to happen,

So in the end we were left alone and, as things went, for a good long
time.  Even those who appeared to be the most devoted went away "for a
while,"  despite the fact that I had explained to them that it would be
useful for someone to always be here, because things come up that someone
should see, etcetera.  But they got bored.  They have a different
timetable, and it amuses me to think that they want to understand what is
going on here and to learn how, why, when, where and who, in the midst of
their desperation of barely a few days
at-le ast-equally-important-if-not-more-so."

And what were you expecting little Marcos?  John Reed?  No, but I was
expecting his equivalent.  Someone with enough patience to get close to
the inside parties after scaling the exasperating heights of our distrust.  
Someone who wasn't so tied to the outside or who was willing to cut the
ties for a good long time.  No, not forever.  Someone who, without ceasing
to be a journalist, would live with the zapatistas, with us.  I knew that
if I said that more than one of them would sign on, but they would have to
pass through a series of tests which no one, up to now, had been able to
pass.  I mean that we would have to choose that someone. But no one stayed
long enough to enter into the opposition competition.  In sum, as we say
here, "bitch-bitch-bitch."

Three years after these lines were written, a woman, a journalist by
profession, ended up leaping, not without difficulties, the complicated
and thick wall of zapatista skepticism, and she stayed and lived in the
indigenous rebel communities.  From that time on, she shared with the
compa~eros the dream and the sleepless nights, the joys and the sorrows,
the food and its absence, the persecutions and the respites, the deaths
and the lives.  Little by little, the compa~eros and compa~eras came to
accept her and to make her part of their daily lives.  I am not going to
recount her history.  Among other things, because she has preferred to
recount the history of a movement, the zapatista one, and not hers.

This person's name is Gloria Mu~oz Rami'rez.  During the period from 1994
to 1996, she worked for the Mexican newspaper "Punto," for the German news
agency DPA, for the North American newspaper "La Opinio'n" and for the
Mexican daily, "La Jornada."  In 1995, on the morning of February 9 and
along with Hermann Bellinghausen, she carried out what might have been the
last interview with Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos.  In 1997, she left
her work, her family, her friends (in addition to things that only she
knows), and she came to live in the zapatista communities.  She did not
publish anything during those 7 years, but she continued to write, and she
did not abandon her journalistic keenness.  She wasn't a journalist
anymore, of course, or she wasn't just a journalist any longer.  Gloria
was learning a new way of looking, the one that is far from the glare
produced by the spotlights, from the pandemonium of the bandstands, from
the pushing and shoving behind the news, from the fight for the exclusive.  
The way of looking which is learned in the mountains of the Mexican
southeast.  With patience worthy of an embroiderer, she was compiling
fragments of the inside and outside reality of zapatismo during those, now
10, years of the EZLN's public life.

We didn't know it.  It wasn't until the announcement of the birth of the
Caracoles and the creation of the Good Government Juntas, when we received
a letter from her, presenting that embroidery of words, dates and
memories, and putting it at the disposal of the EZLN.

We read the book, well, it wasn't a book then, but rather a vast and
multicolored tapestry, whose vision helped considerably in portraying the
complicated silhouette of zapatismo from 1994 to 2003, the Zapatista Army
of National Liberation's 10 years of public life.  And so we liked it.  
We do not know of any other material that has been published with such
attention to detail and which is so complete.

We responded to Gloria just like we respond, that is, with a "Hmm, and?".  
Gloria wrote again, and she talked about the double anniversary (20 years
of the EZLN and 10 years since the beginning of the war against the
forgetting), about the stage that was starting with the creation of the
Caracoles and the Good Government Juntas, something about a plan for
celebrations by "Rebeldi'a"  magazine, and I don't remember how many other
things.  Among so much chatter, one thing was clear:  Gloria was proposing
to publish the book so that young people of today could learn more about

"Young people of today?" I wondered, and I asked Major Moise's:  "Aren't
we the young people of today?"  "We are," Major Moises answered me,
without stopping saddling up his horse, while I kept on oiling my
wheelchair and cursing the fact that Viagra hadn't been included in the
field kit...

Where was I?  Oh, yes, the book that wasn't a book yet.  Gloria wasn't
waiting for us to say yes or who knows, or, in the purest zapatista style,
not to respond.  On the contrary, Gloria attached to the tapestry, or the
rough draft of the book that wasn't a book, a request to complete the
material with interviews.

I went to the committee, and I stretched out the tapestry (the rough draft
of the book) on the muddy September ground.

They saw.  I mean the compa~eros saw themselves.  Aside from being a
tapestry, it was a mirror.  They didn't say anything, but I understood
that there would be more people, many more people, who might also see and
see themselves.

We responded to Gloria "carry on."

That was in August or September of this year (2003), I don't remember, but
it was after the fiesta of the Caracoles.  I do remember that it was
raining a lot, that I was going up a hill, repeating Sisyphus' curse with
each step, and that Monarca was determined that we were going to finish a
remix of "La del Mo~o Colorado" on Radio Insurgente, "The Voice of Those
Without Voice."  When I turned around to tell Monarca that he was going to
have to go over my head in order to do that, I slipped for the umpteenth
time, but then I went and fell on a pile of sharp rocks, and I cut my leg.  
While I was recounting my injuries, Monarca, just like that, went over my
head.  That afternoon we broadcast a version of "La del Mo~o Colorado" on
Radio Insurgente, "The Voice of Those Without Voice" which, judging by the
calls we received to the radio, was a resounding success.  I sighed, what
else could it have been?

The book which the reader now has in his or her hands is that
tapestry-mirror, but disguised as a book.  You cannot put it up on the
wall or hang it in your boudoir, but you can approach it and seek us and
seek yourself.  I am certain that you will find us and you will find

The "EZLN: 20 &10, Fire and Word" book, written by Gloria Mu~oz Rami'rez,
has been edited through two efforts, that of "Rebeldi'a" magazine and that
of the Mexican newspaper, "La Jornada," which is run by Carmen Lira.  
Hmm.  Another woman.  Editorial design is by Efrai'n Herrera, and the
illustrations are by Antonio Rami'rez and Domi.  Hmm...more women.  The
photographs are by Adrian Meland, A'ngeles Torrejo'n, Antonio Turok,
Araceli Herrera, Arturo Fuentes, Caros Cisneros, Carlos Ramos Mamahua,
Eduardo Verdugo, Eniac Marti'nez, Francisco Olvera, Frida Hartz, Georges
Bartoli, Heriberto Rodri'guez, Jesu's Rami'rez, Jose' Carlo Gonza'lez,
Jose' Nu~ez, Marco Antonio Cruz, Patricia Aridjis, Pedro Valtierra, Simona
Granati, Vi'ctor Mendiola and Yuriria Pantoja.  Yuriria Pantoja was in
charge of photographic editing, and Priscila Pacheco carried out the
editorial care.  Hmm...women once again.  If the reader notices that women
are in the majority, do what I do:  scratch your head and say "no way."

It is my understanding (I am writing this at a distance), that the book is
in three parts.  In one of them, there are interviews with support base
compa~eros, committees and insurgent soldiers.  In the interviews, the
compa~eros and compa~eras talk about the 10 years prior to the uprising.  
I should tell you that it is not a global image, but snippets of a memory
that must still wait to be joined together and presented.

These pieces help a great deal, nonetheless, in understanding what comes
next, in the second part.  This contains a kind of compass lens of
zapatismo's p ublic activities, from the beginning of the war on the dawn
of the first of January of 1994, to the birth of the Caracoles and the
creation of the Good Government Juntas.  It is, from my point of view, the
most complete coverage of what has been the EZLN's public activity.  The
reader can find many things in this tour, but one leaps into sight:  the
principled nature of a movement.  In the third part, an interview with me
appears.  They sent it to me in writing, and I had to respond in front of
a little tape player.  I've always thought that the "rewind" on tape
players was "record," and so I tried to make an assessment of the 10
years, in addition to reflecting on other things.  As I was responding,
alone, in front of the tape recorder, it was raining outside, and one of
the Good Government Juntas was giving the "shout of independence."  It was
the dawn of September 16, 2003.

I believe that the three parts tie together quite well.  Not just because
it was the same pen which created them.  Also because they have a way of
looking which helps to look, to look at us.  I am certain that, like
Gloria, many people, by looking at us, will look at themselves.  And I am
also certain that she, and many others along with her, will find
themselves the better.

And that is what this is all about, about being better.

Vale.  Salud and don't look for beetles in the tapestry, it's quite
possible that you'll find them and then, yes, poor you.

>From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast.

Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos.

Mexico, October of 2003.

<<<>>>> Zapatista Army of National Liberation Mexico

October 26, 2003.

To Rebeldía Magazine.

Brothers and sisters:

I am writing you in the name of the children, old ones, women and men of
the...What? But, Durito! Oh, alright:

I'm writing you in the name of the children, old ones, women, men and
beetles of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation.

We received the letter where you told us about your organizing the "EZLN:
20 and 10, Fire and Word" campaign, which is going to be held from
November 10 of this year through January 12, 2004.

We welcome that initiative, and we appreciate the honor you are bestowing
on us. We are also grateful, of course, for the invitation that
accompanied your letter and which included, in detail, the following
program (I hope "everything's included"):

1. The beginning of the campaign on November 10 in the Casa Lamm, where
the book-chronology of the 10 years will also be presented. We accept the
invitation, and I'm letting you know that we will be sending a delegation
to that event.

2. For the Graphic Art presentation (which will be on November 11 in the
Jesús Reyes Heroles Casa de la Cultura at 6 PM) and raffle, we will be
sending one of our "works of art," in a medium that we shall call "mixed,"
since we don't exactly know how to define it (because it doesn't exist
yet, for one thing). In anticipation of the possibility that no one will
buy raffle tickets for that painting (which, incidentally, is so dented it
looks round) and we end up looking like idiots, we are asking you NOT to
print any tickets for that..."thing," and, when some scatterbrain (and
there are those) asks to enter that drawing, try to look serious and say
"we're sorry, those have already run out."

3. The dance is on November 14, to the rhythm of the salsa, in the Los
Angeles Salon. We are accepting the invitation, and we are advising you
(or warning you) that we shall be sending a beetle who is, as far as I
know, only familiar with the tomato variety of salsa and...What?...It's
not tomato salsa? If you don't stop eating Pancrema cookies, I'm not going
to understand what you're saying! Mexican salsa? Fine then: Durito says
he's going to shake his stuff to a rhythm that will leave the hottest
salsa in the "low calorie sweetener"  category. It will leave the women
breathless (Godard dixit), it will make the men like salsa verde, and
musical historians will have to change the books and note that the salsa
was invented by beetles. (I've always said that this beetle is quite

Where was I? Oh, yes, the program!

4. The photographic and poster exhibition in the Chopo (by the way,
greetings to the stallholder raza), which will be on November 25 at 6 PM.
I'll be sending a photograph, part of my personal archive called "Los
patos le tiran a las escopetas" (that's what the archive is called, not
the photo).

5. We will be attending the presentations of music CDs, of communiqués and
of photographs in spirit (unless, of course, you're brave enough to put up
with the impertinences of a "Pancrema-cookie-eating" beetle).

6. Our Comandantes and Comandantas of the CCRI-CG of the EZLN will,
however, be sending our words to the roundtables.

7. We will also be participating, with messages from the CCRI-CG of the
EZLN, in the November 17 fiesta.

Lastly, I'm letting you know that that we will be informing the Good
Government Juntas about the objective of this initiative: that the money
which is collected will be for the programs of the indigenous rebel

Vale. Salud and there's no birthday party without the birthday boy! So
we'll be there.

In the name of the Birthday Boy, that is, the EZLN.

Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos

Mexico, October of 2003.

P.S. Which Notes, Indulgently, Serious Shortcomings in the Program. - And
the cake? And the bags of sweets? And the little hats? And the piñata? And
the "open them, open them"? (the presents, you understand). And the water
balloons? (or balloons).

P.S. Which, As Usual, Pokes Its Nose Into Other People's Business. - In my
humble opinion, the cake should be mocha; the bags of sweets should have
few sweets and a lot of pecans; no little hats or gorrones; the piñata
should have Bush's face; it would be good if a few dozen Torton could be
gotten for the presents; and the water balloons should be like dignity: of
all colors.

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