Mexico’s Zapatista movement transforming lives 20 years on
Irish Times, January 14, 2014
Outsiders are invited to visit and see how local autonomy works in practice
Marcelo and Maria, Michael McCaughan’s hosts at the Zapatista village of Moises Gandhi, with their youngest two children, outside their home. The ski masks are worn as the Zapatistas still remain officially outside the law. Photograph: Sergio Chua
On January 1st, 1994, the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN) launched an uprising in southeast Mexico, demanding land, democracy and freedom.
The Mexican army responded with bombs and bullets until a series of mass rallies forced then president Carlos Salinas to call a ceasefire. The pipe- smoking rebel spokesman, Subcomandante Marcos, became a global celebrity, his witty missives shifting public opinion in favour of the movement.
The negotiations that followed produced the San Andres accord of 1996…
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