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American Indian Movement of Colorado

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Thursday, October 14, 2004

EZLN seeks assistance for villages that are under attack

The EZLN (Zapatista Army of National Liberation) is seeking assistance in helping to relocate villages that have been dispersed by parmilitary squads. The villages moved into the ""Montes Azules biosphere" and are now seeking to relocate to a different area, into a tighter more concentrated group, so as to defend against attacks by the parmilitary squads.

The request for assistance, by the EZLN, is reprinted in it's entirety. This arrived via email and we will provide a link whenever we one becomes available. The communique' states that the logistics for providing assistance will be sent along at a later date.

EZLN: Zapatista villages under attack seek help

October of 2004.

To the people of Mexico:

To national and international civil society:

Brothers and sisters:

The EZLN is addressing you in order to state the following:

First. - Owing to harassment by paramilitary groups and the intolerance
encouraged by the Institutional Revolutionary Party [PRI] in some
communities, dozens of zapatista indigenous families found themselves
forced, some time ago, to move and to form small population groups in
the so-called "Montes Azules biosphere."

During the time that they have been in this terrible situation, far
from their native lands, the displaced zapatistas have gone to great
effort to carry out our laws which mandate that the forests be cared
for. Nonetheless, the federal government - at the hand of the
transnationals who are trying to gain control of the wealth of the
Selva Lacandona - has threatened, time and again, to violently
dislocate all the villages in that region, including the zapatista
ones.

The compañeros and compañeras from various communities threatened with
dislocation decided to resist as long as the government failed to
comply with the San Andrés Accords. Their decision has been respected
and supported by the Zapatista Army of National Liberation. At that
time we pointed out, and we are now reaffirming: if any of our
communities are violently dislocated, we, all of us, will respond in
kind.

Second. - With the advance of the "good government juntas," a large
number of the zapatista indigenous communities have been provided with
the means of substantially improving their living conditions. The
rebel communities have achieved successes, especially in health and
education - without any federal, state or official municipal help -
which easily surpass those of the official communities.

This has been possible because of help from brothers and sisters from
all over Mexico and the world.

These benefits, however, have not managed to cover all the rebel
communities. The displaced populations in Montes Azules, in
particular, have not benefited from these advances.

Third. - Respecting their autonomy, the Comandancia General of the
EZLN addressed the "Hacia la Esperanza" Good Government Junta in the
selva border region, headquartered in La Realidad, in order to ask for
their help in matters of health, education and commerce for these
displaced communities. The Good Government Junta has responded that
they will do everything necessary, as far as they are able, to attend
to these zapatista brothers and sisters.

The distance and scattered nature of some of these villages, however,
present important difficulties. The EZLN has therefore agreed, with
the express consent of their residents, to reconcentrate some of the
zapatista villages in that region, so that they can thus be taken in by
the Good Government Junta of the selva border region.

The following are the villages to which we are referring:

Primero de Enero.

San Isidro.

12 de Diciembre.

8 de Octubre.

Santa Cruz.

Nuevo Limar.

Agua Dulce.

There are a total of 50 families.

We would like to make it clear that they are not the only zapatista
villages in the Montes Azules. There are other zapatista population
centers in that region who are continuing to live with the threat of
dislocation.

Fourth. - The Comandancia General of the EZLN has been holding talks
for several months with the compañeros and compañeras of these
villages, and it has reviewed with them the paths for improving their
difficult situation a bit.

Together, the conclusion has been reached that it would be best if some
villages were reconcentrated in one place. In that way they will be
able to better resist the threats, they will be able to better care for
the selva, they will be participants in the advances of the good
government junta, and they will be able to better participate in the
EZLN's struggle for the respect and recognition of indigenous rights
and culture.

Fifth. - With the backing of those villages and of the Good Government
Junta of the selva border region, the EZLN is turning to national and
international civil society for their moral and economic support of
this reconcentration, because, in compliance with zapatista resistance,
these villages have declared that they will not receive any help from
the state and federal governments.

Sixth. - With the same backing, the Comandancia General of the EZLN
has turned to social activist Rosario Ibarra de Piedra, in order to
respectfully ask her to agree to create whatever is necessary so that
national and international civil society can help in this task,
financially and with their work. This is with the understanding that a
clear accounting will be presented and that the EZLN is publicly
committing itself to absolutely making sure that this money is not used
for anything other than the reconcentration, under dignified
conditions, of the compañeros and compañeras.

Once Doña Rosario has accepted, and the involved communities so decide,
the EZLN will announce the details of the stages and work for this
reconcentration.

Seventh. - We sincerely hope that national and international civil
society will respond to our call to help these communities and thus to
improve their zapatista living conditions, that is, their struggle and
resistance.

Democracy!

Liberty!

Justice!

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, October of 2004, 20 and 10.

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