Changes in the EZLN’s command “do not alter suspension of the dialogue”

** Martínez Veloz: his commitment to the ceasefire continues

By: Roberto Garduño and Enrique Méndez

The restructuring of commanders within the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN, its initials in Spanish) “is an internal decision, which the federal government respects. The internal changes in the EZLN’s command do not alter the situation of suspension of the dialogue, which is protected in the Law for Dialogue, Conciliation and Dignified Peace in Chiapas,” Jaime Martínez Veloz said.

In an interview, the commissioner for Dialogue with the Indigenous Peoples of Mexico commented that after the ceasefire of the first days of military actions in 1994, the initiatives impelled by the EZLN have been of a political nature.

“The farewell letter from Subcomandante Marcos emphasizes this aspect and makes reference to the content of the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandón Jungle, wherein it is textually established that: ‘the EZLN maintains its commitment of offensive ceasefire and will not make any attack on governmental forces or offensive military movements. The EZLN still maintains its commitment of insisting on the path of political struggle with this peaceful initiative that we now make. Therefore, the EZLN will continue in its thinking of not making any type of secret relationship with national political-military organizations or of other countries,’” he said.

Some 18 years from having signed the San Andrés Accords, Martínez Veloz indicated, the Commission for Dialogue with the Indigenous Peoples, of the Secretary of Governance (Interior Minister), is carrying out a group of tasks that have as their proposition constructing a new relationship between the State and the original peoples.

“Said accords, constructed by the protection of a process of dialogue and negotiation supported by law and all the institutions of the Republic, are seen expressed, in large measure, in the content of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, approved September 13, 2007.”

At the thirteenth period of sessions of the UN’s Permanent Forum for Indigenous Questions, held in New York, the Mexican government, through the commissioner, indicated that: “the themes in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples calls us to deep reflection about aspects that have motivated the work and the struggles of the indigenous peoples of the world.

“The struggle for free determination and autonomy, the right to decide on questions related to their internal and local issues, as well as conserving and reinforcing their own political, judicial, economic, social and cultural institutions, at the same time maintaining their right to fully participate, if they so desire, in the economic, social and cultural life of the State, are elements that make up one of the most important parts of the demands of our original peoples.”

About el particular, this newspaper published that the federal government, through the 2013-2018 Sectorial Program of the Secretariat of Governance (Interior Ministry), published on December 12, 2013, in the Official Diary of the Federation, in the action line 1.1.9, it committed to impelling the harmonization of national legislation with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and in action line 1.5.3 it established another commitment to impel the harmonization of the legal framework with the national and international treaties on indigenous matters.

Together with this, in the context of the Report of the Work Group on the Universal Test Period of the United Nations, Mexico accepted the observations that, among other aspects, they refer to the commitment of fomenting a greater participation of indigenous peoples, through a law that regulates their rights of free and informed prior consultation, assuring the complete and effective consultation with indigenous personas on the economy and development of the policies and y projects that affect them.

To this fact, Martínez Veloz responded that in the federal administration “we are convinced that the Indigenous Consultation Law will be the definition of the normative framework, which will lend certainty to the nation, the indigenous peoples, the Mexican State and to possible investors or impresarios, who will have to recognize that development and progress must walk with the hand of respect for the rights of the indigenous peoples.

“Therefore, before this new stage of Mexico, the federal government, through the Commission for Dialogue with the Indigenous Peoples, reaffirms and emphasizes that commitment to the political path is the alternative for constructing a new relationship between the original peoples of our country and the Mexican State.”

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