EZLN: 38 years of consciousness raising and construction of autonomy

Chiapas Support Committee


By: Gilberto López y Rivas

On November 17, we commemorated the 38th anniversary of the founding of the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN, Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional) by a small guerrilla group composed of five men and one woman, three mestizos and three indigenous men, who entered into the mountainous zone of the Lacandón Jungle in the Mexican southeast. This proportion of its composition was to change: the political-military organization is today majority indigenous and with a significant presence of women in all its organizational spaces.

The Zapatista Mayas have walked many paths during these 38 years of clandestinity, recruitment and exponential growth of their ranks among the Tseltal, Tsotsil, Chol, Tojolabal and Mam peoples, their military and political preparation for the January 1, 1994 Uprising, the dialogue and negotiation of the San Andrés Accords with the federal government (1996) and, after the betrayal of the political class…

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