The Story of Durito and Neoliberalism

A drawing of Durito at 
Marcos' feet.
Responding to a letter from ten-year-old Mariana Moguel, Subcomandante Marcos shares the story of his first conversation with Durito, thus marking the beginning of an ongoing dialogue between them. During the period in which this communiqué appeared, the fighting of January 1994 had given way to negotiations and the Zapatistas had returned to their base communities to discuss a set of peace proposals offered by the government.
April 10, 1994*
To: Mariana Moguel
From: Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos

Subcomandanta Mariana Moguel,
I greet you with respect and congratulate you for the new rank you acquired with your drawing. Permit me to tell you a story that, perhaps, you will understand someday. It is the story of . . .

That’s all Mariana. I hope to know you personally someday and be able to trade ski masks and drawings.

Vale. Salud, and more colored markers, because the ones you used surely must have run out of ink.

From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast
Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos

* * *

* First published in La Jornada, April 17, 1994. Original translator unknown.

1 Nebuchadnezzar, the second king of the Chaldean dynasty of Babylonia (605-562BCE), was known as a skilled field commander who conquered Jerusalem in 597BCE. During his reign, he built the "hanging gardens" of Babylon, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. He is referenced in the Bible in Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel, where he is characterized as a champion warrior-king divinely chosen by God. Durito literally means "little hard one."

2 In Spanish, puedes tutearme (you can be informal with me) is an invitation to use the familiar form of address, instead of the formal usted.