January 1,1994: EZLN declares war against the Mexican Goverment
The following is the full text of the first declaration from the Lacandon jungle by the
Zapatista Army of National Liberation:
TODAY WE SAY ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! TO THE PEOPLE OF MEXICO: MEXICAN BROTHERS AND
We are a product of 500 years of struggle: first against slavery, then during the War of Independence against
Spain led by insurgents, then to avoid being absorbed by North American imperialism, then to promulgate our
constitution and expel the French empire from our soil, and later the dictatorship of Porfirio Diaz denied us the
just application of the Reform laws and the people rebelled and leaders like Villa and Zapata emerged, poor men
just like us. We have been denied the most elemental preparation so they can use us as cannon fodder and pillage
the wealth of our country. They don't care that we have nothing, absolutely nothing, not even a roof over our
heads, no land, no work, no health care, no food nor education. Nor are we able to freely and democratically
elect our political representatives, nor is there independence from foreigners, nor is there peace nor justice for
ourselves and our children.
But today, we say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. We are the inheritors of the true builders of our nation. The
dispossessed, we are millions and we thereby call upon our brothers and sisters to join this struggle as the only
path, so that we will not die of hunger due to the insatiable ambition of a 70 year dictatorship led by a clique of
traitors that represent the most conservative and sell-out groups. They are the same ones that opposed Hidalgo
and Morelos, the same ones that betrayed Vicente Guerrero, the same ones that sold half our country to the
foreign invader, the same ones that imported a European prince to rule our country, the same ones that formed the
"scientific" Porfirsta dictatorship, the same ones that opposed the Petroleum Expropriation, the same ones that
massacred the railroad workers in 1958 and the students in 1968, the same ones the today take everything from
us, absolutely everything.
To prevent the continuation of the above and as our last hope, after having tried to utilize all legal means based on
our Constitution, we go to our Constitution, to apply Article 39 which says:
"National Sovereignty essentially and originally resides in the people. All political power emanates from the
people and its purpose is to help the people. The people have, at all times, the inalienable right to alter or modify
their form of government."
Therefore, according to our constitution, we declare the following to the Mexican federal army, the pillar of the
Mexican dictatorship that we suffer from, monopolized by a one-party system and led by Carlos Salinas de
Gortari, the maximum and illegitimate federal executive that today holds power.
According to this Declaration of War, we ask that other powers of the nation advocate to restore the legitimacy
and the stability of the nation by overthrowing the dictator.
We also ask that international organizations and the International Red Cross watch over and regulate our battles,
so that our efforts are carried out while still protecting our civilian population. We declare now and always that
we are subject to the Geneva Accord, forming the EZLN as our fighting arm of our liberation struggle. We have
the Mexican people on our side, we have the beloved tri-colored flag highly respected by our insurgent fighters.
We use black and red in our uniform as our symbol of our working people on strike. Our flag carries the
following letters, "EZLN," Zapatista Army of National Liberation, and we always carry our flag into combat.
Beforehand, we refuse any effort to disgrace our just cause by accusing us of being drug traffickers, drug
guerrillas, thieves, or other names that might by used by our enemies. Our struggle follows the constitution
which is held high by its call for justice and equality.
Therefore, according to this declaration of war, we give our military forces, the EZLN, the following orders:
First: Advance to the capital of the country, overcoming the Mexican federal army, protecting in our advance the
civilian population and permitting the people in the liberated area the right to freely and democratically elect their
own administrative authorities.
Second: Respect the lives of our prisoners and turn over all wounded to the International Red Cross.
Third: Initiate summary judgements against all soldiers of the Mexican federal army and the political police that
have received training or have been paid by foreigners, accused of being traitors to our country, and against all
those that have repressed and treated badly the civil population and robbed or stolen from or attempted crimes
against the good of the people.
Fourth: Form new troops with all those Mexicans that show their interest in joining our struggle, including those
that, being enemy soldiers, turn themselves in without having fought against us, and promise to take orders from
the General Command of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation.
Fifth: We ask for the unconditional surrender of the enemy's headquarters before we begin any combat to avoid
any loss of lives.
Sixth: Suspend the robbery of our natural resources in the areas controlled by the EZLN.
To the People of Mexico: We, the men and women, full and free, are conscious that the war that we have declared
is our last resort, but also a just one. The dictators are applying an undeclared genocidal war against our people
for many years. Therefore we ask for your participation, your decision to support this plan that struggles for
work, land, housing, food, health care, education, independence, freedom, democracy, justice and peace. We
declare that we will not stop fighting until the basic demands of our people have been met by forming a
government of our country that is free and democratic.
JOIN THE INSURGENT FORCES OF THE ZAPATISTA ARMY OF NATIONAL LIBERATION.
General Command of the EZLN, 1993
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