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.