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Mexico and the Zapatistas

A discussion of ethnocultural expression and its political and cultural consequences in modern Mexico will provide a focus for a look at the plight of Mexico's indigenous people, or Indians as they are represented by the Zapatistas. Some of the determinants of ethnocultural identity are the following: language; race; class; gender; epochal events (formation of collective consciousness); ideology; and religion. Some of the causal factors of inter-ethnic conflict which yield a conceptual framework for comparative analysis are the following: state repression; territorial control/irredentism; fear of persecution/extermination; migration/expulsion; and economic inequalities/class conflicts. The above factors are all relevant to an analysis of the manner in which Mexico's indigenous people have been subjugated by a corrupt federal government.

The Zapatistas are a ragtag group of democratic/socialist rebels who largely occupy the Chiapas state of southern Mexico. They are descendants of the original Mexican Indians who survived by working the land. They and their supporters subscribe to the notion that the land belongs to the people, and thus no more than 1/3 of the land should ever belong to the state or any other corporate interest; in fact, because the land should belong directly to those who work it--there should be no outside ownership at all. They believe that the Mexican revolution should have settled such land ownership principles once and for all, but again the Zapatistas are fighting a government which wants to seize control of the people's land rights.

Mexico's federal government is headed by the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, and is currently lead by President Ernesto Zedillo. Despite Mexico's technically federal structure, the president has, in the past, ruled as an absolute monarch. Zedillo has promised to change things: "the rule of law and appropriate institutions are to replace executive fiat" (Ec...

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Mexico and the Zapatistas. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 01:36, March 22, 2019, from