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The EZLN movement was an eye-opening event for both the Mexican government and the non-indigenous population to realise the alarming situation of indigenous people in Chiapas.


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The indigenous conflict in Chiapas not only provoked a domestic awareness of indigenous rights, recognition and self-determination, but also an international awakening on these issues. Mexico has the largest indigenous population in Latin America. The EZLN considered this as a governmental betrayal by opening opportunities for US and Canadian big agrarian businesses to buy or rent their land.

After 11 days of violence where more than died , the Mexican Government and the indigenous rebels began negotiations and ceased fire. The Accords declared that the Mexican Government give fair treatment to the indigenous peoples of Chiapas. On the other hand, the Mexican Government had different interests to those of the Zapatistas.

Mexican interests were in favour of big transitional companies and privatisation. Additionally, the Zapatista insurgency brought social instability to Mexico and a lack of confidence to international investors, provoking a Mexican peso devaluation of 50 per cent. It sent a high military presence to Chiapas to overcome the EZLN and take back control of the region.

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Though, the government interests were limited in intimidating and oppressing the EZLN and in not accomplishing their requests. The EZLN insurgency functioned for indigenous peoples as a catalytic converter of indigenous rights in Mexico and as an effective example for other indigenous communities around the world on how to pursue indigenous interests and how to overcome the limitations of indigenous rights.

5 cops held hostage in Chiapas released after 21 days

The Zapatista Movement was a consequential actor of indigenous political participation in Mexico. Another consequence of the Zapatista insurgency was that a new political, economic, social and cultural relationship between the Mexican Government and indigenous peoples was formed.


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The theoretical progress to advance indigenous rights and living standards by the Mexican Government was a good step for achieving indigenous demands, reflected in the Zapatista revolt. However, in practice one can argue that the EZLN demands to the Mexican government were unsuccessful when examining the current conditions of the indigenous peoples in Chiapas.

Presently, indigenous peoples in Chiapas lack basic services such as education and healthcare. Marcos cultivated an aura of mystique, always wearing a black mask for his press appearances. They chose this day because they knew the trade agreement, specifically the exploitative and environmentally destructive aspects of neoliberalism and globalization, would harm indigenous and rural Mexican communities.

Zapatista Army of National Liberation

Crucially, around one-third of the rebels were women. The EZLN exchanged fire with the Mexican military, but the fighting lasted only 12 days, at which point a ceasefire was signed. More than people were killed.


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Indigenous communities in other parts of Mexico led sporadic uprisings in the following years, and many pro-Zapatista municipalities declared themselves autonomous from the state and federal governments. The president's actions were unpopular, however, and he was forced to negotiate with the EZLN. Its goals were to address the ongoing marginalization, discrimination, and exploitation of indigenous communities, as well as give them a degree of autonomy in terms of government.

Zapatista National Liberation Army | political movement, Mexico | tutiverlara.ml

However, in December, the Zedillo government refused to honor the agreement and tried to alter it. The EZLN rejected the proposed alterations, which didn't recognize indigenous autonomy. Notwithstanding the existence of the accords, the Mexican government continued to wage a covert war against the Zapatistas.

Paramilitary forces were responsible for a particularly horrific massacre in the Chiapas town of Acteal in In , Marcos, who changed his name to Delegate Zero, and the Zapatistas emerged again during a presidential race in order to advocate for indigenous rights. He stepped down from his EZLN leadership role in Following the uprising, the Zapatistas turned to non-violent methods of organizing for indigenous people's rights and autonomy.

This organization, representing a wide variety of distinct ethnic groups and backed by the EZLN, has become a crucial voice advocating for indigenous autonomy and self-determination. In , the CNI proposed the establishment of an Indigenous Governing Council , which would represent 43 distinct indigenous groups.

They didn't receive enough signatures, however, to get her on the ballot. However, his new Maya Train project, which seeks to build a railway across southeastern Mexico, is opposed by many environmentalists and indigenous groups, including the Zapatistas.

Zapatistas to extend their control with 11 more autonomous zones in Chiapas

Thus, the tension between the federal government and the Zapatistas is ongoing. The Zapatistas and the writings of Subcomandante Marcos have had an important influence on anti-globalization, anti-capitalist, and indigenous movements across Latin America and the world. For example, the Seattle protests during the World Trade Organization meeting and the more recent Occupy movement that was kicked off in have clear ideological links to the Zapatista movement.