[Documents menu] Documents menu

Date: Sat, 24 Oct 98 11:14:20 CDT
From: rich@pencil.math.missouri.edu (Rich Winkel)
Organization: PACH
Subject: MEXICO: Indigenous Peoples Congress Statement
Article: 46038
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
Message-ID: <bulk.21390.19981026001524@chumbly.math.missouri.edu>

/** headlines: 204.0 **/
** Topic: MEXICO: Indigenous Peoples Congress Statement **
** Written 12:55 AM Oct 23, 1998 by newsdesk in cdp:headlines **
/* Written 6:09 PM Oct 21, 1998 by saiic@igc.org in saiic.indio */
/* ---------- Mexico:National Indigenous Congress ---------- */

Indigenous Peoples Congress Statement

Nuevo Amanecer Press, 12 October 1998

Originally published in Spanish in Mexico. Translated from the Spanish by irlandesa for Nuevo Amanecer Press. Following is the final document of the second National Indigenous Congress, held from October 9 to 12, 1998, in Mexico.


Second session

The indigenous peoples, communities and organizations of the country, uniting our voices, minds and hearts as one, as our parents and grandparents taught us, whom we honor today, as always, and joined once more in this our house which is the Second National Indigenous Congress, raise our word in order to solemnly proclaim this:



FIRST - That our true peoples have for centuries been excluded, suppressed and dominated by those who have taken over the Patria, and in response to the impossibility of exterminating us, because of the vitality of our cultures, the owners of the false power have tried to destroy us through deceptions, manipulations and attempts at co-optation; they try to divide us at all costs; they are determined to make us believe that we are of the past; they intend to condemn us to the forgetting, the silence, the weariness or the slow agony of cultural disintegration, and they anxiously await the moment they may convert us into architectural ruins or old pieces in a museum, or better, cynically consume our decomposing remains.

SECOND - That, despite the attempts they have made to destroy us, and despite the disaster to which some have wanted to drag our Nation, our cultures, expressions, regulatory systems and forms of life, organization and display have survived and remain alive, creative and full of energy, but the effects of that neoliberal project, which sinks its sharpened teeth into our flesh and injects its fatal globalizing and exclusionary venom, must be ever more urgently overcome.

THIRD - That the official policy, faithful successor to the old colonial policies of extermination, tries to divide us more, to take us to a war between brothers, and to stop the historic march of our peoples; it refuses to carry out its word given in the signing of the San Andres Accords; it refuses to recognize our existence, our differentness and our collective rights; it refuses to assume we are peoples with history, with roots and with heart.


FIRST - That we assume, with full consciousness, responsibility and deep determination, the historic task which is ours to foster, with all our means, the COMPREHENSIVE REBUILDING OF OUR INDIGENOUS PEOPLES; social, economic, political, cultural and spiritual rebuilding of our peoples and cultures.

For this, we must open spaces which make and strengthen us as people and which fill us with life:

At the community and regional level: because there we were born and we were formed in the principles of life which our elders bequeathed us; we make ourselves community; we make ourselves respect; we make ourselves source and spring of our peoples.

It will be these spaces where we will have to build, day by day, the autonomy for which we all yearn.

At the state and national level: Because there we are creative word, we are project, we are an immense net which allows us to relate with each other and interact, we are the tributaries of the great river of hope of our peoples and of the entire Patria; this Patria which will never end as long as we are alive.

This is the space where we join together, where we are one, where we are Congress.

On the international level: because the creative dignity, the purposeful construction, the opening to others and to all, the also different, are the true frontier between the future and the forgetting.

This is the space where we are hope and project of a new humanity, because the struggle of our peoples is not against one particular government, but rather against a globalizing system which is trying to eliminate us from the planet. This struggle with and for the new humanity makes us brothers between peoples.

SECOND - That by affirming our identity, we affirm that of everyone; that of those who, with great hearts and sure steps, wish to build a large house where all of us who are all fit. We affirm our existence, standing and moving, and we confirm we will not renounce our central struggle for autonomy, for exercising our right to the free self-determination of our peoples.

We will not let die - either today or ever - the new fire which has ignited our peoples since antiquity; since the sun was born from the night and was put on high in order to illuminate the paths of our peoples.

THIRD - We ratify that the San Andres Accords are our word, and we will not desist from it. We ratify that the initiative of constitutional reform, proposed by the Cocopa, captures the most essential of San Andres, and that the constitutional recognition of our full collective rights will not cease to be the central focus of our struggles and concerns, beyond the political or electoral times. Our full collective indigenous rights and their recognition are the horizon towards which we must guide the steps of our struggles during the next period; the next stage of our history to travel;

the stretch which follows on this long path, which we are not beginning, because we are only walking the paths of those who came first, those who saw us born, those who placed our feet on the land.

For this, we responsibly and actively assume our task of preparing, fostering and carrying out, along with other sectors of society, the National Consultation called by the EZLN, for the Recognition of the Rights of the Indian Peoples and an End to the War of Extermination, because it is our rights and our peoples which are at stake.

For all the previous, we make the following Call:

To our indigenous peoples, communities and organizations in the entire country, of all the valleys, plains, places, cities and mountains, to put in their minds and hearts, this our word which we proclaim today, and to assume with commitment and with one single heart the tasks and labors of rebuilding, which belong to us all.

To all the brothers of civil society, to widen your hearts more and to walk with us, actively and creatively, in these noble and important works which will open the path to the true rebuilding of this our Patria, full of hope, which is for all.

Proclaimed from the Zocalo of Mexico City, Tenochtitlan
October 12, 1998.