Zapatista Army commemorates its 30th anniversary in Chiapas – El Sol de México

More confronted with the presence of the cartels than the army, the zapatistas celebrate this Sunday and Monday the 30th anniversary of their indigenous uprising in Chiapas who inspired protesters against globalization in his time.

Hundreds of supporters of the movement, from Mexico and Europewill gather in the jungle near Ocosingo, a town about five hours by car from San Cristóbal de las Casas, the epicenter of the 1994 uprising.

He Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) announced a speech Sunday at midnight for the 30th anniversary of his “war against the oblivion” of the indigenous people of Chiapas.

On the night of January 1, 1994, the EZLN captured some towns, including San Cristóbal de las Casas, provoking a military response that brought several dozen deaths before a quick ceasefire.

The uprising took place on the day the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)which was replaced by the trade agreement T-MEC in July 2020.

This trade agreement with United States and Canada symbolized for the then president Carlos Salinas de Gortari Mexico’s entry into the “first world” of developed economies.

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The 1994 Zapatista uprising in Chiapas, a poor and remote region, marked the beginning of a difficult year for Mexico that included the assassination of the then presidential candidate Luis Donaldo Colosio and a strong economic crisis.

The spokesperson of EZLNSubcommander Marcos, then summarized the movement’s priorities: “bread, health, education, autonomy and peace.”

Popularized by the balaclava, the pipe and the poetic words of Marcos, the movement was widely spread abroad (France, Italy, Spain, etc.).

The rebellion was considered by some analysts as the birth of the anti-globalization movement. “I feel the wind blowing Chiapas and Latin America that will regenerate us,” the former French first lady wrote then Danielle Mitterrandafter a meeting with Marcos in 1996.

The dialogue between EZLN and the Mexican government led to the San Andrés Accords to address the demands of the indigenous population in February 1996. That same year a National Indigenous Council (CNI).

What remains, 30 years later?

Thirty years after the uprising, the colonial city of San Cristóbal de las Casas It was attacked during the holidays by battalions of Mexican and foreign tourists, indifferent to the Zapatista celebrations.

“You don’t hear so much about the Zapatistas anymore. If they still exist, they must be far away. Every time I have come, and I come every year, I have never seen anything like that here,” Mexican tourist Lorena Cruz, from 44 years.

“I understand that it was a movement by the guerrillas here,” adds Jeannette Zabaleta, 32, an engineer at a refinery in the neighboring state of Tabascowho admits not knowing much about him EZLN.

At the beginning of November, the zapatistas announced the disappearance of their “Rebel Autonomous Municipalities”areas of Chiapas under the control of their sympathizers, as well as the closure of their cultural centers, when denouncing the impact of organized crime in the region.

“There are blockades, assaults, kidnappings, extortion, forced recruitment, shootings,” the movement said in a statement.

According to observers, the twos main Mexican cartels, Sinaloa and Jalisco Nueva Generación, They fight over the region. Armed and hooded men, presented as members of the Sinaloa Cartel, marched to applause from a town in Chiapas, according to a video released last September.

“The Federal, state and local military and police forces are not in Chiapas to protect the civilian population. They are there with the sole objective of stopping migration,” added the Zapatista press release, in reference to the hundreds of migrants who enter through the neighboring Guatemala.

The disenchantment with the left in power is total. The Zapatistas denounced the president’s great projects Andrés Manuel López Obrador launched in the name of the development of southern Mexico (the Mayan tourist train and the interoceanic train).

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Thirty years later, what remains of January 1, 1994? “Before the uprising, indigenous issues were not talked about,” the writer tells AFP Juan Villoro.

“There is more and more talk about indigenous languages, indigenous culturess. “This is a gain,” she adds. “This does not mean that the main problems have been resolved, but it does mean that the issue is in the imagination.”

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