Letter From ’16 de Febrero’

From the mountains of Southeast Mexico, Zapatista Rebel Autonomous Municipality of 16th of February, Chiapas, Mexico.

To our brothers and sisters from Scotland, twins of ’16 de Febrero’.

16th February 2007

In the name of the Zapatista support bases (bases de apoyo) and autonomous authorities of the municipality of ’16 de Febrero’, we cordially and fraternally greet 16th February’s twins.

Firstly we thank you for the support you have offered our municipality. Thanks to this we can build a new world, in which we all can fit, in which tbere is no discrimination on the grounds of colour, language or beliefs. We also thank you for sending representatives of your collective organisation so that they can relate to you exact information about the needs we face within our municipality, particularly in education, health and the different handcraft groups that are working within our municipality.

We, the Zapatistas, feel very proud and happy, for we feel we are not alone in our people walking in resistance, our people standing up in struggle against the capitalist system.

On the other hand we ask you to excuse us for not always being able to have so much communication with your representatives, for not always being able to understand each other between our languages, and for the limited attentions we were able to offer them during their stay in our municipality. However we give them the following message to give to you.

Firstly, to report on our municipality´s clinic, which is already up and running and helping the general population with different needs. We know that it has only been possible to achieve this collective micro-clinic based in the community of Berlin thanks to your efforts in supporting us economically. But now we have the clinic we see that a lot is still needed in the way or equipment and medicines. Amongst other things we lack a training room, a dormitory for the promoters working in the clinic and a proper kitchen

Secondly, within our municipality we have four autonomous schools, based in four different communities. In each one of these a great deal is lacking for the education promoters to be able to comfortably carry out activities with the students. They also lack the materials and furniture needed for a quality education. In this we hope we can also have support from you some day, with the strength of your collectives.

Thirdly, the Zapatista rebel autonomous municipality of ’16 de Febrero’ is rich in the extraction of amber. For this we have within our municipality a collective group of amber craft workers who make, amongst other things: necklaces, bracelets, pendants and earrings. In doing this though we have come up against a serious problem, as we are unable to find a market where we can receive a fair price for our work, or afford many of the basic materials needed for polishing etc. However, through you, we trust that one day we will be able to have a just market for our work.

Fourthly, we write in the name of the women of the collective society of handcrafts, textiles and embroidery, in which we work embroidering blouses and different types of textiles. We also have many needs within our group. A lot of the time we are working, we only receive a minimal price for our labours. We cannot get a fair price because we cannot find a just market for our work. But now, the news of your representatives gives us hope that one day we will find such a just market, where we can sell our work at a fair price.

Finally we give you thanks, with the force that you have put into our municipality´s journey, through all the difficulties which we have encountered, which the bad government impose on us to impede our progress, so that we, as Zapatistas, continue on in our struggle, in spite of the weight of our suffering. Now our tradition, culture, collective work and organisation form key foundations for a balanced society, for continuing the progress of a people struggling to create a world in which many worlds fit, in which exist democracy, liberty and justice for all.

With nothing else to say we conclude by giving you a big fraternal hug in the name of the EZLN. We hope that you never cease struggling and organising yourselves, because it is the only way in which we can triumph over the capitalist system.

“Hasta victoria siempre”

Fraternally,

The Zapatista rebel autonomous council of ’16 de Febrero’.

The above letter was given to the delegation from Scotland’s zapatista solidarity groups on 16th February 2007 (translated from the original Spanish).

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