Monday, August 15, 2005

Mexico: Zapatista' s Attempt to Regain The Public Eye

The on-going saga of Subcommander Marcos (and Pinguino) continues, as the "sup" keeps on hammering away at Antonio Manuel Lopez Obrador, Sunday's Miami Herald, describes the revolutionary as "quarrelsome and pudgy", and quotes him as describing the Mexican left in the following terms:

Only tricks, lies, mockery and disdain were what we received from the political parties that now are competing for the presidency,'' said Marcos.

Flanked by rifle-bearing guards, Marcos said the upcoming nationwide tour by the Zapatistas will last months, if not years -- unlike the Zapatistas' weeks-long march to Mexico City in 2001.

''All these discussions are going to help decide what we are,'' Marcos said.

Marcos and the Zapatistas have carried around a big-time grudge with the Mexican left, that stems back to the 70's when some in Mexico's urban left began working on peasant and indian issues, helping to organize cooperatives and unions in and around the Chiapas area. According to Marcos, many of these movements "sold out" by working within the system, and were cooopted by the P.R.I. establishment. Maybe, the EZLN sees too many of the same people in the PRD, which ultimately a good number of
For a good discussion of that check out George Collier's book Basta! Land And The Zapatista Rebellion in Chiapas. Collier ultimately was way too optimistic on the ability of the Zapatistas to deliver what most of the rebels ultimately wanted - land. But as a chronicle of the history of protest movements in the region, with its complex dynamics, it is an invaluable book.