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First World, HA HA HA! The Zapatista Challenge

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kaitlyn lopez

on 30 January 2013

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Transcript of First World, HA HA HA! The Zapatista Challenge

First World, Ha Ha Ha! The Zapatista challenge Edited By Elaine Katzenberger The Zapatista Army emerged from the jungle on New Year’s Day 1994. Men and Women Zapatista soldiers covered their faces with ski masks; armed with machine guns they occupied the urban Mexican city of San Cristobal. This protest is the result of the gathering of indigenous groups fed up with the corrupt Mexican government and their unequal distribution of resources. There plan was to execute government officials and defeat police resistance alongside their admired leader Subcomandante Marcos. This book is a collection of interviews, diaries and testimonies from Zapotista villagers, Mexican citizens and international journalists. Each sharing their views and reactions to the Zapotista movment and their actions . Brefi Summary: Political Leadership In their fight for liberation the EZLN incorporates women into the revolutionary struggle. Gender Sexuality Marriage/Kinship Cultural Universals Economics Education Supernatural/Religion • Subcomandente Marcos is one of many leaders in this group.

• Candestine Revolutionary Indigenous Committee, Zapatista National Liberation Army

• Vast majority of the EZLN started and are located in Chiapas, one of the poorest states in Mexico.

• Their main issues are: Improvement for living conditions, running water, paved roads, basic medicines, education, contraceptives, and technological advances for their agricutlrue and basic human rights for indigenousness communities.

" The government has tries to portray Mexico as a First World Country. They want to show the World Trade Center, the big malls, the Zona Rosa, the big modern cities- Acapulco, Cancun, Mexico City, Monterrey, Guadalajara. The want to show the toursit lovley mexican culture- the mariachis and folkloric dancing.. We have helped peel of masks to help revel the real Mexico. We've shown that in Chiapas, the Mexican government and a handful of businesses extract all the wealth- the oil, electric energy, tropical trees, cattle, coffee, corn, cacao and bananas. And what do they leave us behind? Death and disease- death from curable diseases like respiratory infections, enteritis, parasites, amobeas, malaria, tuberculosis, cholera and measles." Chiapas is an extremely poor state • 80% of its population live in extreme poverty, 3.5 million in population
• 30.1% are illiterate, 62% did not complete preliminary education
• 885,605 residents are Ch’ol, Lacandon, Tzeltal Tzotzil, Tojolabal and Zoque Indians and most do not speak Spanish
• 35% of the states dwelling lack electricity or drainage, 51% have dirt floors and 70% are overcrowded
• 19% of working class receive no income, 40% make less than $3.00 a day “Paradoxically, Chiapas possesses natural resources that are strategically important for the country. It is Mexico’s largest generator of hydroelectric energy, with its four reservoirs accounting for 55% of the country’s total production. As for gas and oil production Chiapas is the country’s 3rd and 4th largest producers.”(Katzenberger, 1994) 1st Women, regardless of their race, creed, color, or political affiliation, have the right to participate in the revolutionary struggle in a way determined by their desire and ability.
2nd Women have the right to work and receive a fair salary.
3rd Women have the right to decide the number of children they will bear and care for.
4th Women have the right to participate in the affairs of the community and to hold positions of authority if they are freely and democratically elected.
5th Women and their Children have the right to primary attention in matters of health and nutrition
6th Women have the right to education
7th Women have the right to choose their partner and are not to be forced into marriage.
8th Women shall not be beaten or physically mistreated by their family members or by strangers. Rape and attempted rape will be severely punished
9th Women shall occupy positions of leadership in the organization and to hold military ranks in the revolutionary forces.
10th Women will have the rights and obligations elaborated in the revolutionary laws and regulations. They desired a model of education which would keep their youth close to their communities and productive for the common good. “The government didn’t give us our schools, we had to construct them ourselves, since 1998. These schools aren’t recognized by the government. They are for our people here in the forest. It has cost us a lot, but they are growing,” says Gustavo, from Caracol III, with its seat in La Garrucha.The main idea behind the creation of the Other Education is to teach the youth the history, language and culture of the people, and educate them to provide for their community, something that the government was never able to do. The EZLN want women of indigenous cultures to move into the 21st century. No longer will they be made to stay at home forced to bear and take care of children they cannot support due to their poverty. The Zapatista promote contraceptives. They also are against forced marriages in exchange for dowry. EZLN discourage the marriage of young women ages 14 down, a common tradition in many indigenous groups living in Chiapas and states alike. Well, EZLN doesn't have a particular stance on religion, being that they are all mostly of full and mixed Indigenous descent.. not to mention it's memberships of Indigenous peoples varies greatly from Iroqouis to Mayan people. Most Mayans practice a mixed religion of Christianity and STRONG Indigenous beliefs.. EZLN doesn't have a particular belief system you have to adhere to in order to be a follower, you just need to be a human being wanting FREEDOM, JUSTICE, and DEMOCRACY.
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