Coordinated by Aurelian GIUGĂL

A Historical Perspective on the Zapatista Rebellion in Chiapas

Mirela-Adriana VIZIRU

Ph.D. Candidate, Doctoral School of Political Science, University of Bucharest



Abstract: 22 years ago, The Zapatista Army of National Liberation have begun what they call “a war against oblivion.”1 The rebels that are part of the guerrilla defined themselves at times as Mexicans, Indians, peasants, poor, men and women in search for land, freedom, justice and democracy. This study approaches the hypothesis according to which the Zapatista rebellion in Chiapas is a very complex movement, which can be properly understood through the analysis of the socio-political evolution of its members.

Keywords: EZLN, Chiapas, rebellion, Indians, Mexico.




On October 12, 1996, the Zapatista representative to the National Indigenous Congress held in Mexico City – Comandanta Ramona, a young indigenous woman - ended her speech with a sentence that captures very well the essence of the political purpose the Zapatista Army of National Liberation wants to achieve: “Never a Mexico without us.”2

When and why have the indigenous communities of Mexico come to believe that their culture and political rights are overlooked or denied? The issue of socio-political exclusion, as this analysis will reveal is very complex and has roots that do not coincide with the public emergence point of the Zapatista movement – January 1, 1994. And whereas the EZLN have recently appeared on the Mexican political scene, the causes that led indigenous people of Chiapas to rise in arms against their government are not recent, and can be traced back to the colonial era.

In the preface to Gloria Muñoz Ramírez’ book entitled “The Fire and the Word: A History of the Zapatista Movement”, Subcomandante Marcos recalls having seen “a sort of fat bottle, like a pot with a narrow mouth, made of clay and covered with little pieces of mirrors. When it reflected the light, each little mirror of the pot gave forth a particular image. (…) It was as if many small histories came together to compose a larger history without losing their own distinct selves.” He goes on to express the wish that “perhaps the history of the EZLN could be told, looked at, and analysed like that mirrored pot.”3 The objective of this study is to “mirror” the political status of Mexican Indians from the arrival of the Spanish conquerors up to the burst of the conflict, considering that tracing different relevant perspectives on and of the Indians in different historical times can enable a deeper understanding of this profound, novel movement.



Shortly after Mexican writer Fernando Benítez died, Subcommandante Marcos addressed him a letter in which Subcomandante Pedro, killed during the uprising of January 1st, 1994, told a story from the other side: “Here we are, the dead of all times, dying once again, but now in order to live. (...) It’s really hard to kill a dead person and, well, dead people aren’t afraid of dying because they’re already dead.”4 The metaphor of the “dead” is recurrent in the Zapatista speech. It suggests that they went to war because they were politically “dead”, because faced with extreme poverty and misery; they felt they had nothing to lose, facing death anyway, but also that they became the voice of their ancestors. It illustrates that the struggle did not start with the EZLN.

It acquired worldwide focus with them, nonetheless. The seizure of seven municipalities (San Cristóbal de las Casas, Ocosingo, Las Margaritas, Altamirano, Chanal, Oxchuc and Huixtán)5 in the state of Chiapas on the same day that Mexico was promised a path towards modernity and a “First World” permit, through the NAFTA agreement, came as a huge surprise. The media covered the news intensely and everyone wondered who the rebels that stood against it were. The fact that the guerrillas warning on the dangerous consequences of the accord and demanding constitutional rights were, with a few exceptions, poor Indians – mostly Tzotzils and Tzeltals6 - may have been even more surprising for some.

For Major Infantry Insurgent Moises, the central issue resides in the fact that “the government treats us like we can’t think.”7 He explained that

“the problem is that there aren’t any governments that obey; only ones that give orders and that don’t listen and don’t respect you, that believe that indigenous peoples don’t know how to think. They want to treat us like broken Indians, but it all turned back on them and we showed them that we do know how to think, and we do know how to organize ourselves. Injustice and poverty make you think, they make you produce ideas, they make you think how to do things better even if the government doesn’t listen.”8

The image of the “broken Indian” was actually created soon after Columbus’s discovery of the Americas. In 1550, when King Charles V convoked a debate in order to establish the status of the Indians and decide on the issue of Indian slavery in the colonies, Juan Ginés de Sepúlveda argued that “Indian society could not be considered a genuine political society”, because ”Indians may have possessed souls, but they were not rational souls.”9

Whether colonists believed that Indian culture was savage and inferior or not, they did alter the identity of the natives by beginning a long process of “Hispanicization”. An important component of it revolved around the issue of the faith and the Catholic clergy assumed, at times with great zeal and fervour, the task of turning the Indians into “the best Christians in the world.”10 Since the Mayan rituals and magic beliefs were seen as superstitious, idolatrous and evil, colonists focused on making them embrace the “true” faith and imposed on them invasive practices, like the confessional, which alienated them from their traditional life.11 Centuries later, Marcos argued against the perception that the conflict in Chiapas could be solved by “thinking that education is the way for the indigenous to stop being indigenous, learn Spanish, forget their language, become mestizos (mixed blood) or Ladinos as they used to say, and the moment they stopped being indigenous everything would be better.”12 He instead explained that the indigenous problem is not purely economical and should be understood through its cultural, political and social dimensions. In Marcos’s opinion, it’s about “the constitutional recognition of Indian peoples to govern and be governed on their own terms.”13 However, it is important to underline that the Zapatistas do not see their war against the government as a conflict between the Indians and the mestizos or the Ladinos. Their aim is not to impose their culture over another one, but to defend the right to preserve their own. It is most probably why their First Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle did not even mention once the word “Indian”, in order to place the struggle at a national level and define themselves as, first of all, Mexican people fighting against injustice.14

In the same statement, they describe themselves as the “product of 500 years of struggle” against “slavery, then during the War of Independence against Spain led by insurgents, then to avoid being absorbed by North American imperialism, then to promulgate our constitution and expel the French empire from our soil, and later the dictatorship of Porfirio Díaz.”15 In other words, from the point of view of the Zapatistas, the war they initiated is the result of an ancestral experience of centuries of resistance.



It would be a mistake to believe that the colonial Indian was “a tabula rasa awaiting colonial inscription”, according to Nicholas Higgins.16 The encounter between the Spanish and the natives did not generate a unilateral relationship of influence and domination. The fact that Indians were not some mere recipients of European ideas is proven by the early acts of rebellion, like the one that took place in Cancuc in 1712, when a group of Maya from several villages proclaimed that “Now there is neither God nor King!” and imposed a new civil and religious order.17 The rebellion could have been easily predicted, given the historic context in which the events took place. First of all, the hate of the Indians towards the Spanish administration was increasing alarmingly given the difficulty they faced in order to pay tributes to the Crown and the encomenderos18Sometimes, in order to pay them, Indians had to work hard for about three months a year on vanilla and cacao plantations or on the Dominican and Spanish haciendas. Also, the year 1707 had marked the beginning of a period of bad harvest, with terrible consequences for the villagers that usually paid the tribute in money. On top of that, they were forced to contribute to the construction of a hospital and an asylum by a bishop eager to praise his charity work to the king. Simultaneously, there was an intense religious activity in the villages, the most famous scene being undoubtedly the miracle of the Virgin’s appearance to María López, an Indian girl. The news spread fast and attracted Indians from all over Chiapas to the chapel built in honour of the Virgin. Worried, the bishop and the district magistrate wanted to destroy it, but not only did they fail in the attempt, it led to an Indian rebellion against the Spanish rule. For the Indians, the miracle translated into a sign of “God’s will” to liberate the Indians “from the captivity of the Spaniards and the ministers of the Church”. It also meant that “the king who was to govern them would be of their elections and they would be free of the work they suffered and free from paying tributes.” It all culminated with the miraculous experience of Sebastián Gómez, an Indian who claimed he had went to Heaven and was told by Saint Peter to appoint literate Indians as new priests and vicars. However, the Indian republic was eventually quelled and its defeat meant both oppressive consequences for the Indians, as well as future cautious on the colonists’ side.19

Another example would be the Chamula Rebellion of 1867-1870, when the Tzotzil Maya community of Chamula, Chiapas fought against non-Mayan government forces. While in Cancuc the appearance of the Virgil triggered the outbreak of a rebellion, the Chamula “wars of caste” were inspired by “a saint urging the Indians to attack and destroy the ladinos.20 Or so it was believed until the 1970, when the American anthropologist Jan Rus verified the “ladino version” of the story and discovered it was far from the truth. The apparent moment of peace and relief for the Indians, due to interruption of commerce and uncollected taxes, in the context of the rivalry between Liberals and Conservatives in the 19th century, was not going to last very long. The constitutional reform of 1857, according to which Catholicism was no longer the official religion of the state also meant no more religious taxes to their priests for the Indians. Soon after, in the highland village of San Juan Chamula a new cult emerged with the veneration of a set of magical “talking stones” and developed very fast, most probably because, according to Jan Rus, “having been mistreated by ladinos of all parties, especially during the preceding civil wars, many Indians seemed to find in the isolated shrine a kind of sanctuary, a place where they could not only pray in peace, but could meet and trade with their neighbours without fear of ladino interference.”21 Predictably, this alarmed the conservative forces of San Cristóbal who, lacking the support of a liberal state government resorted to force in order to get rid of the separatist movement. After Father Martínez, the local parish priest removed and took away the cult’s holy relics, a group of Indians tried to recuperate them and the confrontation resulted in the death of Martínez and a few other Ladinos, followed by another set of ladino killings.

From this to claiming a “caste war” had begun there was only one step. Thus, when on June 17 a few thousand Indians showed up to San Cristóbal to peacefully demand the release of Cuzcat, their sermon priest who had been arrested, it became obvious for the local newspapers that “Indians were sworn enemies of the whites” and that “a war to death between barbarism and civilizations” was necessary.22 With the assistance of the Liberal Governor Dominguez, the Indian unrest was forcibly repressed and in the process, tragically, “Indians were forced to join the ladino forces and hunt down their own people.”23 Consequently, as Higgins notes, “distinctions between conservative and liberal soon lost their meaning, and while the church never fully regained the position it had once held, the organisation of Indian labour once more fell under the control of a ladino highland elite.”24

A century later, when the EZLN took over San Cristóbal de las Casas, the relationship between the Indians and the authorities took a very interesting turn. According to a story collected and translated by Jan Rus, told by Marián Peres Tsu, a Tzotzil from Chamula,25

“not a single kaxlan official showed his face in public – not a policeman, not a parking officer, not a collector of market fees. Not one. They disappeared! They were so terrified of the Zapatistas that they hid. But the moment they were sure the Zapatista Army was gone and wasn’t coming back, Ha!, immediately the parking officers were back unscrewing license plates (for parking violations and bribes), the municipal police beating up drunks, and the market collectors chasing away poor women trying to sell tomatoes and lemons on street corners. With the Zapatistas gone, suddenly they were fearless again. But when the Zapatistas were here, they stayed in their bedrooms with the shades closed, quaking with fear. (...) You see what this means? They were afraid of Indians, because that’s what the Zapatistas were, Indians. When we other Indians realized that, we felt strong as well. Strong like the Zapatistas. The kaxlanetik of San Cristóbal have always pushed us around because we don’t speak Spanish correctly. But now everything has begun to change.”26



In June Nash’s opinion, the nineteenth century rebellions “were not just over land but over the defence of the cultural and political rights of indigenous people that proved their ability to act as a collective entity.”27 Still, the indigenous rebellion of Chiapas cannot be approached and understood without the issue of the land. In their first war declaration, the Zapatistas accused poor living conditions - “we have nothing, absolutely nothing”, and demand land, work, health services, food and education.28 The Indian saying “We do not inherit the land from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children”29 reflects their sacred attachment to it, while the Zapatista discourse expresses their engagement to protect it – “We Zapatistas will not allow our land to be taken from us again. We will defend it so our children can have no bosses and live without suffering humiliation and contempt.”30

For centuries, in the villages around Ocosingo, Altamirano and Las Margaritas, Indian families that did not own any land lived in the fincas where they worked. The landlord had acquired the status once assigned to saints and God and dictated terms of public and private relationships – “He had been the father of some of their children, godfather to all and the only “principal.” The most important cargos had been the responsibilities he had assigned. He had decided disputes, obligations and rank. And there in crisis the rule had been simply all for one, him.”31

In Spanish, the word cacique designates “the governor or the chief of an Indian community”, “a person who exercises an abusive power within a group” or “a person who exercises influence in political affairs”32, whereas caciquismo represents “the domination or influence of the cacique within a town or a region”, “a political system based on the domination and power of the cacique” or the “abusive interference of a person or authority on certain matters, based on his power or influence”.33

The link between landlords, caciques and EZLN was best explained by Comandanta Miriam:

“Women suffered through a very sad situation since the arrival of the conquistadors. They stole our land and took our language, our culture. This is how the domination of caciquismo and landowners came into being alongside a triple exploitation, humiliation, discrimination, marginalization, mistreatment and inequality. The bosses had us as if they were our owners; they sent us to do all of the work, on the haciendas, without caring if we had children, husbands or if we were sick. (....) Women were mistreated in their work, carrying water and all of that and paid miserably; they were only given a little handful of salt or a handful of ground coffee, that was the payment given to the women.(...) They didn’t respect us and they used us as if we were objects.(...) They sold us as if we were commodities during the acasillamiento; there was never rest for us, women.(...) Acasillamiento refers to when people go to the haciendas or ranches with their families and stay there and work for the boss. The men are the ones who did the work of planting coffee, cleaning the coffee fields, harvesting the coffee, clearing the pastures, planting the grass, all this work, taking care of the corn and bean fields. The men did this work for the boss. Apart from this, there is another thing I could tell you about the acasillamiento, which are the mozos or the slaves there, men and women who are always going to live on the hacienda.”34

She added that when Indian men finally understood the mistreatment suffered by women during the acasillamiento, they left the hacienda and formed new communities in the mountains, where the land was not claimed by any plantation owners. But, despite the change, they brought in the boss’s ideas – “it’s as if the men drug these bad ideas along with them and applied them inside the house. They acted like the little boss of the house. (…) We never had the opportunity to say what we felt for many years, because of the teachings of the conquistadores and the bad government.”35

Miriam’s speech also conveys the message that an important dimension of EZLN’s struggle is indigenous feminism. One of the reasons why this movement is considered “different” and “original” is the “Women’s Revolutionary Law”, distributed together with nine other laws by the General Command of the EZLN in the wake of the uprising. Although it was not “lawyerly statute”, and contained rather “guidelines and principles and positive mandates”36, as John Womack emphasised, according to it, women had the right to hold rank and leadership positions in the revolutionary forces, the right to work and receive a fair wage, to decide on the number of their children and on the person who they were going to marry. The law also stipulated that “no woman will be beaten or mistreated physically, either by members of her family or by others” and that “the crime of rape and attempted rape will be severely punished.”37 While these principles may seem “normal” and even “obvious”, for many Indigenous women at the time they were, indeed, “revolutionary” and liberating.

It would not be an exaggeration to say that for the Zapatistas, both women and men, the land equals freedom. The moment when the guerrillas decided to put the “Indian problem” on the national agenda was not random. The EZLN was organizing and preparing for war since 1983, yet it was the NAFTA agreement that determined them to take action and come forth. From the Zapatistas’ point of view, NAFTA was no less than “a sentence to death” for the Indian peoples or, in Noam Chomsky’s words, “a gift to the rich that will deepen the divide between narrowly concentrated wealth and mass misery, and destroy the remains of the indigenous society”38, as the accord was expected “to drive large numbers of farm-workers off the land, contributing to rural misery and surplus labour.”39

Among the ten revolutionary laws the General Command of EZLN approved before the armed uprising, a very important place was assigned to resolving the issue of the land, through an agrarian reform. The “Revolutionary Agrarian Law” stipulated that “the struggle of poor peasants in Mexico continues to claim the land for those who work it. After Emiliano Zapata and against the reforms of Article 27 of the Mexican Constitution (ending the mandate to redistribute land and allowing existing ejidatarios40 to take title to their grants in new forms of tenure), the EZLN takes up the just struggle of rural Mexico for land and liberty.”41

From the very beginning, the name of Emiliano Zapata is invoked - an icon of the Mexican Revolution of 1910-1920 the movement takes its name and ideology from. He remained in the public imaginary as a symbol of the struggle for agrarian reform and social change under the regime of Porfirio Díaz 42 whereas his legacy, Zapatismo, has become “a political strategy, an ethos, a set of commitments claimed by those who claim a political identity” on the pursuit of “democracy, liberty and justice for all.”43 It was commonly believed in Mexico that Article 27 from the Constitution of 1917, according to which “land and waters understood to be within the limits of the national territory belong originally to the Nation, which has had and has the right of transmitting their ownership to particular persons, thus constituting them as private”44, was the result of Zapata’s agrarian program. It is the reason why, after president Salinas revoked the article in 1992, as a precondition to implement NAFTA, EZLN argued that “Article 27 of the Magna Carta must respect the original spirit of Emiliano Zapata: the land is for the indigenous and the peasants who work it, not for big landlords.”45

Interestingly enough, some scholars contradict this perception. Womack states that “anyone who examines the original Zapatista program and Zapatista practice from 1911 to 1916 and Article 27, consequent federal agrarian codes, and federal policies and practice from 1917 to 1992, not to mention the reform of 1992, will see some basic differences.”46 His reasoning goes even further, to pointing out that the idea of the Mexican Revolution as a national movement for the working people, especially for Indians, is a myth, as neither the Constitution of 1917 nor Emiliano Zapata’s “Plan de Ayala” include the words ”indigenous” or “Indian”. On the contrary, in Chiapas, the Revolution “did not institute democracy, nor did it establish liberty, equality or fraternity. Much less did it turn the world upside down, socialize the means of production, abolish the labour market or poverty, or stop white or ladino racism.”47

If Womack is right, will the fate of this new extraordinary social and political awakening of the indigenous people of Chiapas be any different?

And even if EZLN will succeed in accomplishing its goals, will it make up for what they believe to be a long history of struggle, exploitation and political exclusion?



Hopefully, this analysis has been able to show that the Zapatista rebellion is part of a long cycle of struggles for land, freedom, political rights and self-determination. Given that the previous ones have been brutally repressed and that the governmental forces never truly addressed the causes of rebellions, we might even say that the rise of EZLN was only a matter of time and quite predictable.

Also, it is clear that the Chiapas conflict revolves around the Maya – an Indian population with a difficult past, who did not see a future in Mexico’s modernization program.

A population who was believed to be ignorant and not know anything about their own history yet has been “retelling to each new generation the stories of their conflicts and crises, reinforcing their solidarity and preparing themselves to resist and survive in the future.”48

A poor population mostly involved in agriculture, dealing with illiteracy, lack of social services and lack of infrastructure paradoxically in a state rich in reserves, as Chiapas is one of Mexico’s most important sources of, among others, coffee, oil, bananas, chocolate, sugar, beans, rice, corn, rubber and cotton49.

A population “invisible” politically, who decided to wear ski-masks in order to be “seen” and acknowledged.

And, most of all, a population who dismissed the colonial myth of the docile Indian and took up arms against their “bad” government, embarking on the long and sinuous road towards creating “a world in which many worlds fit”, much like Marcos’ bottle of clay covered with little pieces of mirrors.



BUNK, Samuel, The Posthumous Career of Emiliano Zapata: Myth, Memory and Mexico’s Twentieth Century, University of Texas Press, Austin, 2008.

CHOMSKY, Noam, Profit Over People: Neoliberalism and Global Order, Seven Stories Press, New York, 1999.

GOGOL, Eugene, Utopia and the Dialectic in Latin American Liberation, Brill, Leiden, 2016.

GOSNER, Kevin, Historical Perspectives on Maya Resistance: The Tzeltal Revolt of 1712, available at

HARVEY, Neil, The Chiapas Rebellion, the Struggle for Land and Democracy, Duke University Press, Durham, 1998.

HIGGINS, Nicholas P., Understanding the Chiapas Rebellion, University of Texas Press, Austin, 2004.

KHASNABISH, Alex, Zapatismo beyond borders: New Imaginations of Political Possibility, University of Toronto Press, Toronto, 2008.

MARCOS, Sylvia, “The Zapatista Women’s Revolutionary Law as it is lived today” in Open Democracy, available at

MUÑOZ RAMÍREZ, Gloria, The Fire and the Word: A History of the Zapatista Movement, City Lights Books, San Francisco, 2008.

NASH, June C., Mayan Visions: The Quest for Autonomy in an Age of Globalization, Routledge, New York, 2001.

RAMÍREZ MARTÍNEZ, Alvaro, “The Mexican Constitution and its Safeguards against Foreign Investment”, Cornell Law School Inter-University Graduate Student Conference Papers, 2009available at

WOMACK, John, Rebellion in Chiapas: an Historical Reader, The New Press, New York, 1999.

RUS Jan, George COLLIER, “A Generation of Crisis in the Central Highlands of Chiapas. The cases of Chamula and Zinacantán, 1974-2000”, in Jan RUS, Rosalva Aída HERNÁNDEZ CASTILLO, Shannan L. MATTIACE (eds.), Mayan Lives, Mayan Utopias: The Indigenous Peoples of Chiapas and the Zapatista Rebellion, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Lanham, 2003, pp. 33-61.

First Declaration from the Lacandon Jungle, available at

Oxford Dictionaries, available at

Real Academia Española Dictionary, available at

Speech of Comandanta Miriam on May 6, 2015, available at

Words of the EZLN on the 22nd Anniversary of the Beginning of the War against Oblivion, available at 22nd-anniversary-of-the-beginning-of-the-war-against-oblivion/.

1 Words of the EZLN on the 22nd Anniversary of the Beginning of the War against Oblivion, available at, accessed on 13.04.2016

2 Eugene GOGOL, Utopia and the Dialectic in Latin American Liberation, Brill, Leiden, 2016, p. 263.

3 Gloria Muñoz RAMÍREZ, The Fire and the Word: A History of the Zapatista Movement, City Lights Books, 2008, San Francisco, p. 28.

4 Ibidem, p. 56-57

5 Neil HARVEY, The Chiapas Rebellion, the Struggle for Land and Democracy, Duke University Press, 1998, Durham, p. 6.

6 Jan RUS and George COLLIER, “A Generation of Crises in the Central Highlands of Chiapas. The cases of Chamula and Zinacantán, 1974-2000”, in Jan RUS, Rosalva Aída HERNÁNDEZ CASTILLO, Shannan L. MATTIACE (eds.), Mayan Lives, Mayan Utopias: The Indigenous Peoples of Chiapas and the Zapatista Rebellion, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Lanham, 2003, p. 33.

7 Gloria Muñoz RAMÍREZ, The Fire and…cit., p. 76.

8 Ibidem, p. 79.

9 Nicholas P. HIGGINS, Understanding the Chiapas Rebellion, University of Texas Press, 2004, Austin, p. 38.

10 Ibidem, p. 43.

11 Ibidem, p. 49.

12 Gloria Muñoz RAMÍREZ, The Fire and…cit., p. 299.

13 Ibidem, p. 300.

14 First Declaration from the Lacandon Jungle, available at, accessed on 01.04.2016.

15 Ibidem.

16 Nicholas P. HIGGINS, Understanding the…cit., p. 56.

17 Kevin GOSNER, Historical Perspectives on Maya Resistance: The Tzeltal Revolt of 1712, available at, accessed on 06.04.2016.

18 “A colonist granted control of land and Indians to work for him”, according to Oxford Dictionaries, available at, accessed on 11.04.2016.

19 John WOMACK, Rebellion in Chiapas: an Historical Reader, The New Press, 1999, New York, pp. 78-86.

20 June C. NASH, Mayan Visions: The Quest for Autonomy in an Age of Globalization, Routledge, 2001, New York, p. 48.

21 John WOMACK, Rebellion in Chiapas…cit., p. 89.

22 Ibidem, pp. 92-93.

23 Nicholas Higgins, Understanding the…cit., p. 92.

24 Ibidem, p. 92.

25 John WOMACK, Rebellion in Chiapas…cit., p. 258.

26 Ibidem, p. 263.

27 June C. NASH, Mayan Visions: The Quest…cit., p. 48.

28 First Declaration from the Lacandon Jungle, available at, accessed on 01.04.2016.

29 Gloria Muñoz RAMÍREZ, The Fire and…cit., p. 321.

30 Ibidem, p. 328

31 John WOMACK, Rebellion in Chiapas…cit., p. 14.

32 According to the Real Academia Espanola Dictionary, available at, accessed on 08.04.2016.

33 According to the Real Academia Espanola Dictionary, available at accessed on 08.04.2016.

34 Speech of Comandanta Miriam on May 6, 2015, available at, accessed on 08.04.2016.

35 Ibidem.

36 John WOMACK, Rebellion in Chiapas…cit., p. 250.

37 Sylvia MARCOS, “The Zapatista Women’s Revolutionary Law as it is lived today” in Open Democracy, available at on 09.04.2016.

38 Noam CHOMSKY, Profit over People: Neoliberalism and Global Order, Seven Stories Press, 1999, New York, p. 122.

39 Ibidem, p. 123.

40 Member of an ejido, which is “a piece of land farmed communally under a system supported by the state”, according to Oxford Dictionaries, available at, accessed on 11.04.2016.

41 John WOMACK, Rebellion in Chiapas…cit., pp. 252-253.

42 Samuel BUNK, The Posthumous Career of Emiliano Zapata: Myth, Memory and Mexico’s Twentieth Century, University of Texas Press, 2008, Austin, p. 81.

43 Alex KHASNABISH, Zapatismo beyond borders: New Imaginations of Political Possibility, University of Toronto Press, 2008, Toronto, p. 125.

44 Alvaro Ramírez MARTÍNEZ, “The Mexican Constitution and its Safeguards against Foreign Investment”, Cornell Law School Inter-University Graduate Student Conference Papers, 2009, available at, accessed on 12.04.2016.

45 John WOMACK, Rebellion in Chiapas…cit., p. 271.

46 Ibidem, p. 251.

47 Ibidem, pp. 8-9.

48 Jan RUS and George COLLIER, “A Generation of Crisis…cit.”, p. 31.

49 Ibidem, pp. 2-3.