The Zapatistas after 17 years

Andrew Flood concludes his review of the history of the movement, with conclusions about the current situation:

“Today, quite remarkably, the Zapatista’s continue to survive as a movement controlling a large swathe of Chiapas, probably around 150,000 people in around 1,300 communities that continues to build an infrastructure of eduction, health clinics and co-ops independent of the state. Much of the funding comes from the coffee co-ops which produce and sell organic Zatatista branded coffee. They remain isolated but Mexico is a powder keg due to the extreme division between wealth and poverty it contains both internally and due to the US border so the Zapatistas remain placed to break out of that isolation with the next wave of popular struggle.

A whole generation has now grown up in these free communities, a generation that the EZLN described in 2005 as “those who were children in that January of ’94 are now young people who have grown up in the resistance, and they have been trained in the rebel dignity lifted up by their elders throughout these 12 years of war. These young people have a political, technical and cultural training that we who began the zapatista movement did not have.”

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