ricardo dominguez on Fri, 6 Feb 1998 19:20:12 +0100 (MET)

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<nettime> Mexico rebel supporters hack government home page + an EZLN note

Mexico rebel supporters hack government home page


Experts at virtual war, supporters of Mexico's Zapatista rebels have hacked 
into a government home page on the Internet and defaced it with 
anti-government propaganda.

The home page for Mexico's Finance Ministry (http://www.shcp.gob.mx)
appeared on Wednesday plastered with pictures of the rebels' revolutionary
namesake Emiliano Zapata.

``We're watching you, big brother!'' one part of the message read in an
ironic reversal of George Orwell's famous phrase warning of government 

The phrase ``X-ploit'' appeared beneath a giant yellow face. A
``parental advisory'' sticker similar to those found on explicit 
rock-and-roll records was pasted nearby.

Officials at the ministry could not be reached for comment.
``We belong to no group, we do not belong to the Zapatista Army for
National Liberation, but we are expressing our free expression as 
Mexicans,'' said the message, followed by the sign-off ``Zapatista Army 
for National Liberation.''

The Zapatistas, who launched a brief rebellion in early 1994, pioneered
use of the Internet by a guerrilla group, creating a home page to 
encourage international support. The page can be found on 

JANUARY 29, 1998

We had thought it would be enough to issue a communique where we could
respond to what is being said and done by the Mexican government in
We had thought it would be sufficient to write something which reflected
our discontent about the government's persistence in using double 
language, something which once again will disrobe the inconsistencies 
between their discourse of "peace" and the harassment and military 
advancement again the communities and mountains of the Mexican Southeast.

That is what we had thought, but then we saw the military airplane and
the war tanks rambling ostentatiously and arrogantly through our villages,
as though to say "this is the answer to your demands, look at me, hear me,
you are trapped, surrender." We saw the airplane and the tanks and we
understood that that is what they want.  They want us to speak only to them, 
that we forget you, that we get into their game of  "give and take". They 
want only bitter answers to their mockery, answers which allow them to 
say: "you see, the EZLN does not want dialogue, it is using the conflict to 
its advantage, they are intransigent, do not believe them when they say they 
struggle for democracy, liberty and justice, all they want is Power and to 
continue to provoke instability."

So the airplane and the tanks made us understand that they wanted us to
strip our word of value and quality, that we exchange epithets, that we
tire you with our accusations and repeated warnings that the government is
deceiving you. They do not want us to explain ourselves nor to make
ourselves heard.

That is why we decided to let you know our thinking and our position
through this letter.

As you can see, this letter is not only for civil society, now it also
includes political society.   We know that there are many political
organizations in Mexico and in the world, some of which are now
governments, which have an honest approach, respectful and accountable 
to the significance of the Zapatista demands.  So we salute all those 
who try to give politics the renovation which it needs.

At any rate now that it is clear why we address you, we give you our

The strategy of the government attempts to make public opinion transpose
the illegitimacy and lack of credibility of the government to everyone 

The actual strategy seeks the skepticism of all the actors and
positions, neutralizes intellectuals and artists, independent 
politicians, social organizations, organized civil society, and the 
"ordinary" citizen.

The speech of Mister Ernesto Zedillo in Yucatan for example was, above all
the point of departure of a new flood of declarations and ultimatums. There
are three basic spokes of this government line. 

1. The re-negotiation of the San Andres Agreements - The government position
towards the San Andres Agreements is very clear: they will not fulfill them.
The discussion about whether the first or the second Cocopa initiative will
be the "basis of negotiation" (Didn't the Cocopa swear and declare that it
would not negotiate the agreements because it was not appropriate to their
coadjutant role?), is only a government sophistry. 

To carry out what has been signed and acknowledge the indigenous right
to be different, are some of the things to which "the federal government
does not agree" and which, of course, do not even appear in the Yucatan
speech, nor in the paid full-page ads.

Behind the strategy in which Labastida wants to enmesh the Cocopa and the
Conai, is the attempt to delay a solution to the conflict.  It pretends for
example, that the Cocopa serve as a messenger for communication with the EZLN
through the Conai. Isn't it excessive to pretend that a legislative
commission from the Mexican Congress (which represents 5 national political
parties) serve only as a mes senger between the government and the Conai? 
Is that the role of the coadjutant now? 

Our position in terms of the Agreements is the same.  We do not want
"everything", all we want is that the government fulfill what it has signed
and is public knowledge.  All we want is for the Cocopa to keep its word and
defend its initiative.  All we want is that indigenous rights become law and

Thousands of voices in Mexico and the world have supported, throughout an
entire year, the legal initiative of the Cocopa.  This proposal no longer
just belongs to the legislators.  Today there are thousands who are willing
to defend it. 

2.  The use of force to resolve the conflict - Zedillo says that the
government has not used nor will it use force to attempt to resolve the
conflict in Chiapas.  What about the treachery of February 9th of 1995?
Wasn't it the use of force which broke the dialogue it sustained with us?
(through then-Justice Minister Esteban Moctezuma Barragan). Weren't there
thousands of soldiers who attacked i ndigenous communities in their attempt
to capture the leadership of the EZLN? Is it not true, that even today the
indigenous of Guadalupe Tepeyac live in exile because their village is a 
mix of barracks, whorehouse and bar for federal troops? Was it not the use 
of force that took dozens of citizens prisoners because their crime was 
that they were Zapatistas? 

The government "has not used nor will it use force" to resolve the 
conflict in Chiapas? What is all the preparation, training and activation 
of paramilitary squads for then? (At least 12 says the PGR). Wasn't the 
massacre of Acteal a demonstration of the will for dialogue and 
negotiation of the Mexican government? 

And what about the persecution of Zapatistas since January 1 of 1998
sustained by the federal army which "carries out orders of the commander 
in chief" (Zedillo)? Is this another act of military distension? 

When all is done, the history of the regime of Zedillo is the history of 
the word which was not kept.  Those military planes which conduct "diving"
maneuvers over indigenous communities in the jungle, what is their word? 

Without any legitimacy, the government has at its side only the power of
force. On our side is history, reason and truth.  The demands of the Indian
peoples are supported by these three forces, only the law is missing to do
justice to them, but it is clear that force will do all that is possible to
scam away the cover of law to rights demanded by history, based in reason and
animated by truth. 

The law, if not accompanied by history, if not constructed by reason and
fortified by the truth, finally provokes that which it seeks to avoid:
violent rebellion.

3. The attack against different national and international actors who seek a
peaceful solution with justice and dignity.- Using the conflict in Chiapas
for his political whims, Zedillo attempts to renew his dispute with the PRD,
with national and international NGO's, and with all those who no longer
believe nor support (in other words, the immense majority of Mexicans). With
words and applause b ought beforehand, the government tries to hide, once
again, its responsibility in the massacre of Acteal.  There will be an
attempt to bury the blood of 45 indigenous under the "re-negotiation" of the
Cocopa initiative.  Meanwhile, on the ground of Acteal, 45 crosses warn that
today's amnesia will renew itself in worse sorrow tomorrow. "In order to
cover a scandalous crime, another scandal must be perpetrated" is the 
fascist slogan which is now religious creed in the Mexican federal 

Zedillo also takes advantage of Yucatan to spew a nationalism which, sounds
false and hollow, especially on him and whoever accompanies him. He who
dedicates himself to squandering in the exterior the rich lands of the
Mexican southeast, he who continues with an authentic campaign of
extermination of indigenous people because they "have no place in modern
globalization" and will "end up disappear ing anyway": he who has not stopped
attacking entities of mediation and intercession , and who complains about
foreign intervention and whomever tries international mediation in the 

Zedillo should abandon his paternalistic and authoritarian tone and
recognize, and accept, that the immense majority of Mexicans still want the
San Andres agreements to be fulfilled (without any scam) and do not agree
that force be used to resolve the conflict. 

The government discourse has perhaps managed to confuse some.  But, for how
long? This new lie which they pile up in the national consciousness, how long
will it last? What other crime or tragedy will bring it down again? The most
serious problem is not Chiapas, or San Andres, or Acteal, or the fall of oil
prices, or the devaluation, or the financial crisis in Asia. 

The fundamental problem is a government without legitimacy, without

It would be unjust to say that Chiapas alone has contributed to the
government's discredit.  It is enough to review, with a minimum of
independence and critical spirit, the three years of Zedillo's 
administration in order to conclude that the regime has not only provoked 
and revived political, economic and social crises even religious ones, but 
it also lies so repeatedly it borders on stupidity. A nd he who lies and 
lies again, can only expect to lose credibility. 

We, the Zapatistas, do not believe the government when it speaks of peace. 
We know that millions of human beings, in Mexico and in the world, do not
believe it either.  It has earned its discredit, and obviously it can only
change this with acts of peace and not with useless and senseless words
which fill columns and screens on the media, but continue to leave the
hearts and mind of Mexicans empty. It doesn't matter whether these Mexicans 
matter to this government.  In any case, it is they who matter to us and we 
count every man and every woman.

Our acts are of peace and a disposition to a political solution. We 
continue to wait for real demonstrations of political will, but we continue 
to see the inclination to ignore what has been signed, and we continue to 
suffer assassinations, persecution and jail. 

We are not asking for anything the government has not signed.  The San
Andres Agreements are only a part of what justly belongs to the Indian
peoples of this country called Mexico, which has a history of a struggle
with dignity, and because of such, will conquer its democracy, its
liberty and its independence which appear easy, but which, reality has 
shown, are quite costly.

It doesn't matter the cost will be paid with punctuality.

Vale. Health and do not allow cynicism to make you a prisoner, after
that will come, inevitably, a faltering.

>From the still-besieged mountains of the Mexican southeast.
By the Indigenous Revolutionary Clandestine Committee
General Command
Zapatista Army of National Liberation
Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos
Mexico, January of 1998.

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