Zapatista Leader Writes to Mumia

At the San Francisco April 24 rally, ski-masked clad representatives from the National Commission for Democracy in Mexico read solidarity greetings from Subcommander Marcos of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation. Excerpts appear below:

I am writing to you in the name of the men, women, children and elderly of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation in order to congratulate you on April 24, which is your birthday.

Perhaps you have heard of us. We are Mexican, mostly indigenous, and we took up arms on January 1 of 1994, demanding a voice, face, and name for the forgotten of the earth. Since then, the Mexican government has made war on us and pursues us and harasses us seeking our death, our disappearance, and our definitive silence.

The reason? These lands are rich with oil, uranium, and precious lumber. The government wants them for the great transnational companies. We want them for all the Mexicans….

We learned about your birthday through the international mobilizations which, under the name of “Millions for Mumia,” are being prepared this April 24….

I could tell you that, for the powerful of Mexico and the government, to be indigenous, or to look indigenous, is reason for disdain, abhorrence, distrust, and hatred….

I am sure that you will find similarities with what the Power in the United States does with the so-called “people of color” (African-American, Chicanos, Puerto Ricans, Asians, North American Indians, and any other peoples who do not have the insipid color of money.)…

I do not know the judicial system in North America very well, but I am adding to this bridge a letter addressed to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania and to Gov. Tom Ridge.

In it I ask for justice, not for a pardon or mercy. Because the men and women who live with dignity do not need pardons or mercy from any authority, they only need justice and they need to struggle to get it…”

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