Re: Zapatistas (was Re:Foucault)

30 Nov 1994 20:51 CST

In article <3bi946$>, (KEVIN MICHAEL KNIFFIN) writes...
>> Viva la Zapatistas!
>> james b.
>i know i should know this, but could you please tell me what the status of the
>zapatista revolt is today ? i know very little about what is going on (to my
>fault) is there someone called zapata? still alive ?
>muchas gracias

Actually, the situation in Chiapas is pretty tense about now. After calling a
truce the Zapatistas insisted on free, uncorrupted elections and are not pleased
with the results. Contrary to many pundits, the recent elections were far from
clean. Nevertheless, the PRI candidate won the governorship in Chiapas and the
Zaps are saying the elections were fraudulent and they will begin fighting again
if the PRI guy takes office Dec. 5. They have recently won the support of
Cardenas, the PRD presidential candidate that had the 1988 election stolen from

In the last few weeks there has been much oppression, with civilians being
beaten and "disappearing". Tune into soc.culture.mexican, soc.rights.human,
or soc.culture.latin-america for recent updates.

Emiliano Zapata was the most famous Mexican revolutionary of all (that is,
inside Mexico--the rest of the world likes to focus more on Poncho Villa because
with his bullets wrapped around his chest and his whiskey bottle in his hand he
fits the stereotype of a "Mexican"). He led one of the most influential of the
armies fighting in the Mexican Revolution of 1910. He was strictly for the
peasants and demanded agrarian reform. Everytime someone would take power he
would see where they stood on the land issue and if they didn't support reform
he would keep fighting. He kept this up until he was murdered treacherously
in 1919.

This is extremely important because land is why the Zapatistas are fighting
today. Most of the members are marginalized Tzeltals, Tzotzils, Chols, Mixes,
and Tojolabals that have been pushed off their lands by large landowners.
Salinas took office and made a conscious decision that there was no place
for "indians" in the new "modern" Mexico. He has ended the Constitutional
stipulation for ejidos, communal lands, and is rescinding Article 27. This,
combined with the passage of NAFTA which will have disastrous effects on maize
production, is why they are fighting.

Is this the future of all the world's indigenous peoples? Does Capitalism have
to eat up *everything* in its path? Do the powers that be have to be so greedy
that they must be making a buck off of EVERY SQUARE FOOT OF THE GODDAMN PLANET?
These are the questions I've been asking myself lately. I don't think
"modernity" is worth it...

Viva la Zapatistas!

james benthall