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The First Declaration from the Sierra Madre is the first declaration made away from the former Mexican state of Chiapas issued by the Zapatista Army of National Liberation. Decreed in 5 June 2010, the declaration establishes the Community of Chiapas and the short-lived Democratic Convention. It is the ninth overall declaration made by the EZLN, and it pays homage to the first declaration made in January 1994 at the beginning of the War of National Liberation.


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 or of sheer poverty.

We have the Mexican people on our side, we have the beloved red star worn 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 symbols and the inspiration of the Zapatista Army, the embodiment of our struggles, and we always carry our flag into combat. We have been driven out from our homelands in Chiapas, which this nation shall carry its namesake. Nevertheless, we shall continue the struggle here and work in solidarity with all those whom fight for liberation in the Americas.

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 that of every Mexican.

To the people of Mexico and of the world: We, the men and women of the Zapatista Army, are working to liberate the American peoples from oppressive regimes, and to bring forth a better quality of life. 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.

We aren't proposing a new world, but something preceding a new world: an antechamber looking into the new Mexico. In this sense, this revolution will not end in a new class, faction of a class, or group in power. It will end in a free and democratic space for political struggle. This free and democratic space will be born on the fetid cadaver of the state party system and the tradition of fixed presidential succession. A new political relationship will be born, a relationship based not in the confrontation of political organizations among themselves, but in the confrontation of their political proposals with different social classes. Political leadership will depend on the support of these social classes, and not on the mere exercise of power. In this new political relationship, different political proposals (socialism, capitalism, social democracy, liberalism, christian democracy, etc.) will have to convince a majority of the nation that their proposal is the best for the country. The groups in power will be watched by the people in such a way that they will be obligated to give a regular accounting of themselves, and the people will be able to decide whether they remain in power or not. The plebiscite is a regulated form of confrontation among the nation, political parties, and power, and it merits a place in the highest law of the country.

This National Democratic Convention and transitional government should lead to the creation of a new constitution, and, in the context of this new constitution, new elections should be held. The prophecy of the Southeast, and now the North, is valid for the entire country. We can learn from what has already occurred so that there is less pain during the birth of the new Mexico.

The Community of Chiapas, as well as the EZLN, has its idea of what system and proposal are best for the country. The political maturity of the EZLN as a representative of a sector of the nation is shown by the fact that it doesn't want to impose its proposal on the country. The EZLN demands what is shown by their example: the political maturity of Mexico and the right for all to decide, freely and democratically, the course that Mexico must take. Not only will a better and more-just Mexico emerge from this historic synthesis, but a new Mexico as well. This is why we are gambling our lives: so that the Mexicans of the future can inherit a country in which it isn't shameful to live...

Under siege and under pressure from different sectors that threatened us with extermination, we Zapatistas reaffirmed our commitment to achieve a peace with justice and dignity. In our struggle, the dignified struggle of our ancestors has found a home. The cry of dignity of the insurgent Vincente Guererro, "Live for the country or die for freedom," once again sounds from our throats.

Declarations from the Zapatistas
1994-1995 First (Jan. 1994), Second (Jun. 1994), Third (Jan. 1995)
1996-1998 Fourth (Jan. 1996), Fifth (Jan. 1996), Sixth (Aug. 1996), Seventh (Jul. 1998)
Since 2005 Eighth (Jul. 2005), Ninth (Jun. 2010), Tenth (Jun. 2010)
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