On January 1, 1994, a rebel uprising took place in the Mexican state of Chiapas by the self-styled Zapatista Army of National Liberation known by the acronym EZLN . This uprising was carried out by indigenous people from the state of Chiapas who demanded justice and equality. Zapatista uprising in Chiapas Mexico
Among the complaints of the members of this movement was the demand for dignity for the indigenous peoples of Chiapas, who were subjected to a series of abuses and denigration by the local government, as well as the mayors. The indigenous people were unhappy because they were subjected to losing their lands and being displaced. Next, in this article we will talk in more detail about this movement and what it meant for indigenous people and their civil rights. Keep reading and you know it.
The Zapatista Army of National Liberation in the Zapatista Uprising
The Zapatista Army of National Liberation serves as a military and political organization made up mostly of indigenous people from different ethnic groups , among which we can mention the Mam, Tzotzil, Tzeltal, Chol and Tojolabal, all belonging to the southern state of Mexico, Chiapas.
This political-military organization became publicly known as a result of the uprising it led in 1994 . It was in that year when this armed group declared war on the Federal Army, whom it accused of being protectors of the dictatorship of President Carlos Salinas Gortari, who was seen as an illegitimate president who according to them had won the 1988 elections fraudulently. Zapatista uprising in Chiapas Mexico
Therefore, this movement sought to unmask the national and regional government of corruption , despotism, incapacity and neoliberalism directed against the indigenous population , who were victims of the theft of their resources, in addition to not receiving help from the government from whom they demanded. justice, peace, freedom, independence, education, health, land, decent housing, work, health and food.
Origin of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation
This group saw its origin in the hands of the guerrilla conflagrations that proliferated in Mexico in the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s . In Chiapas there was a group called the National Liberation Forces, who at the time tried to fight against the government and all the injustices and displacements to which the indigenous peoples were constantly subjected. However, this first movement was quickly dismantled by the government, which eliminated its militants both in Chiapas and in the Mexican capital.
Subsequently, according to the assertions of the leaders, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation was formed on November 17, 1983 , when it was made up of different civil and armed groups from Chiapas. The members were both indigenous and mestizo, who settled in the jungle of the Lacandona mountainous area in order to establish an armed struggle group that would defend the causes of interest of the indigenous peoples of Chiapas. Zapatista uprising in Chiapas Mexico
According to members of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation for 1986, the group was made up of 12 combatants. However, the group of members grew, especially between 1988 and 1989, in which the rebel group grew from 80 members to about 1,300 . This group was in charge of organizing the communities in order to obtain funds with which they would acquire weapons and ammunition.
Background to the Zapatista uprising
The Zapatista uprising arose as a result of the marginalization received towards the indigenous peoples of Chiapas. The inhabitants of this area were demanding the neglect of both the central government and the regional governments .
Among the complaints was the lack of work, resources, education and health. Many indigenous people demanded abuse when they were displaced from their lands , which they could not possess, since they were ceded to others, deals in which the regional rulers were benefited, without taking into account the economic precariousness in which they found themselves. Indigenous villages. Zapatista uprising in Chiapas Mexico
Based on the armed uprising, this group wanted to be heard by establishing justice, achieving fair electoral participation and asserting indigenous rights , both in Chiapas and in other localities in the country.
Development of the Zapatista uprising
On January 1, 1994, the political-military organization began an armed uprising in which they took the city of San Cristóbal De Las Casas, together with the towns of Larráinzar, San Andrés, Simojovel, Chalam, Huixtán, Oxchuc, Ocosingo, Chanal, Altamirano and Las Margaritas . Later, in a series of assaults carried out between January 3 and 4, they took as a prisoner of war the commander and ex-governor Absalón Castellanos.
Likewise, they attacked the Rancho Nuevo and San Cristóbal De Las Casas military barracks , where a large number of soldiers were not present because they had been granted free day for the New Year’s date. However, despite the diminished number of soldiers in these barracks, the Zapatista uprising after 10 hours of combat could not achieve the objective of taking these barracks. Failing this objective, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation withdrew and withdrew into the jungle .
The Mexican government sent troops in view of this attack carried out by the Zapatistas . In this armed conflict 57 people lost their lives and 40 were injured. In order to stop the conflict, in a message addressed to the nation, President Carlos Salinas Gortari offered the redemption of this armed group, of which he denied that they were indigenous. Later, the government decided to suspend the fire and appoint Manuel Camacho Solís who was commissioned to restore peace. Zapatista uprising in Chiapas Mexico
In later years, the apprehension of Rafael Sebastián Guillén Vicente was issued, who made himself known as the spokesman for the armed uprising as Subcomandante Marcos. However, due to a new start of negotiations, this order was suspended. Both the government and the EZLN signed the San Andrés agreement, which would take indigenous demands into account .
Even so, the EZLN assured that the government did not comply with the signed agreements. Therefore, this group made efforts to extend this movement to other indigenous peoples of Mexico. This conflict lasted for several years, in which there were violent episodes between the government and the members of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation , episodes in which some deaths occurred. Over the years, this armed group has been transformed until today it becomes a political movement that continues to demand attention, respect and equality towards the natives of the nation. Zapatista uprising in Chiapas Mexico