Zapatistas and Graffiti

One of the main reasons I wanted to go to San Cristobal de las Casas is to learn more about the EZLN, or Zapatista movement.  The Zapatistas are a group of indigenous people who rebelled against the Mexican government in 1994, corresponding with the date the North American Free Trade Agreement was enacted.  The EZLN  took over several areas in the state of Chiapas, including San Cristobal. Various governmental administrations have attempted to come to an agreement with the Zapatistas since then, but the government always fails to hold up their end of the bargain.

They believe in having an autonomous government separate from that entity which governs Mexico.  They are against neoliberal globalization and capitalism in general as this system oppresses many for the benefit of a few.

I hope to return to this region when my Spanish is better and talk to more people about the movement.  I watched a documentary of their struggle while I was there and picked up lots of literature, but didn’t get too far.  I tried to dig a bit more and engage some of the people from the area in dialogue about them, but I hit a wall.

If you’re interested in learning more about the movement, visit Enlace Zapatista.  There’s an English translation of the Sixth Declaration of the Selva Lacandona here and Wikipedia has some information too.

I took some photos of graffiti around the city, because sometimes I feel like street art really encapsulates the essence of a place.  My favorite is the Lucha Social photo.

  • Hello,

    I stumbled on your site while doing SEO for my site, specifically trying to find blogs like yours which allow Google to follow my link back to my site.

    Anyhow, I find your travels and associated causes VERY interesting….reminds me of my life until just a few years ago.

    I hope you haven’t by-passed us here in Belize, I’m sure you would find it a very interesting change from all of the Spanish speaking countries surrounding us.

    Belize is a developing country with its own set of socio-economic problems, many of which are very unique to this region due to Belize’s British heritage.

    If you do happen to make it to Belize, drop me a line and I’ll make sure to give you a tour!

    Warm Regards,
    David

  • You’re so lucky you got to visit that place and meet very interesting people. I like the Lucha Social too. You know, you remind me of Princess Jasmine in Alladin. :)

  • You are so fortunate that you’re getting the chance to travel so much!

    Whenever I travel, I just love immersing myself into the local culture and traditions … not too keen on visiting just the “touristy” parts of a country.

    Sounds like you’re doing just that!

    Love to visit Mexico one day … and Peru … and Nepal. The list is endless lol

  • The Zapatista movement is super interesting and, from all accounts, super hard to penetrate. Keep digging—I’d love to hear more!

  • The story about Zapatista is very interesting. We also have similar like them in my country. What I really interestest truly are photos of grafitti in the city. They are so talented to do that kind of work.

  • It is truly amazing and I’d give you a pat on the back for taking the time out and describing your personal experiences on these travels. Many of us aren’t able to walk out of the boxed life we have created. Most of us end up keeping our hearts content by reading such detailed posts on travel. I think it requires a lot of dedication to visit places and record their activities and beauties. A number of people simply forget after partying. I must say I love your posts even though they belong to just one continent, tryly love your work.