Rebel Zapatista Autonomous Municipalities

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Rebel Zapatista Autonomous Municipalities
Municipios Autónomos Rebeldes Zapatistas
Flag of Rebel Zapatista Autonomous Municipalities
Coat of arms of Rebel Zapatista Autonomous Municipalities
Coat of arms
Motto: Aquí manda el Pueblo y el Gobierno Obedece
"Here the people give the orders and the government obeys"
Capital (de facto)Oventik, Larráinzar, Chiapas
Official languagesCh'ol
Dominant mode of productionSocialism
GovernmentLibertarian socialist confederation
• Zapatista revolution
1 January 1994
• Dissolved
October 2023
• Total
24,403 km²
• 2018 estimate

The Rebel Zapatista Autonomous Municipalities were autonomous territories in Chiapas, Mexico. They were established following a revolution in 1994 by the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN).[1] Although they were sometimes called anarchists, the Zapatistas rejected this label.[2]

History[edit | edit source]

On 1 January 1994, the day NAFTA began operation, rebels from the Zapatista Army of National Liberation occupied the towns of San Cristobal de las Casas, Las Margaritas, Altamirano, and Ocosingo in Chiapas. They captured weapons from a military base and freed prisoners from the area. After being attacked by air force bombers, they retreated into the highlands. On January 10, 500,000 people participated in a demonstration for peace in Mexico City. President Carlos Salinas called for an end to the fighting and peace talks were held in February and March.

After the negotiations, the Zapatistas held a National Democratic Convention in the Lacandon Jungle. They attempted to organize an alliance against the social democratic Institutional Revolutionary Party, but they failed and social democrat Ernesto Zedillo was elected president. In 1994, the EZLN broke through a military blockade and surrounded the Mexican army. The Zapatistas continued to take more territory and captured over 1,500 properties and over 900 km² of land by June 1995, despite many villages being destroyed in a counterattack in February.[3]

The Municipalities got dissolved in October 2023.

Education[edit | edit source]

In non-Zapatista areas of Chiapas, 90% of indigenous children do not complete primary school and most teachers do not speak any indigenous languages. Primary school is available in all Zapatista communities and 37% of students continue to secondary school.[4]

Healthcare[edit | edit source]

84% of Zapatista communities are vaccinated against diseases such as malaria compared to only 75% in areas controlled by the Mexican state. Only 32% of people in Zapatista territories have tuberculosis compared to 84% in the rest of Chiapas.[5] Alcohol is prohibited, leading to a decrease in diseases and infections.[4]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Iker Reyes Godelmann (2014-07-30). "The Zapatista Movement: The Fight for Indigenous Rights in Mexico" Australian Institute of International Affairs. Retrieved 2022-03-19.
  2. Mike Antipathy (2002). "A Zapatista Response to "The EZLN Is NOT Anarchist"" Green Anarchy. Archived from the original on 2009-08-13.
  3. Aufheben. "A Commune in Chiapas?" The Anarchist Library. Archived from the original on 2021-06-14. Retrieved 2022-05-22.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Cian Warfield. Understanding Zapatista Autonomy: An Analysis of Healthcare and Education. National University of Ireland, Cork.
  5. J. H. Cuevas (2007). Health and Autonomy: The Case of Chiapas. [PDF] World Health Organization.