Histories and Cultural Politics in Southern Mexico
Publication Year: 2002
Mixing original ethnographic material drawn from years of fieldwork in Mexico with historical material from a variety of sources, Stephen shows how activists have appropriated symbols of the revolution to build the contemporary political movement. Her wide-ranging narrative touches on the history of land tenure, racism, gender issues in the Zapatista movement, local political culture, the Zapatista uprising of the 1990s and its aftermath, and more. A significant addition to our knowledge of social change in contemporary Mexico, Zapata Lives! also offers readers a model for engaged, activist anthropology.
Published by: University of California Press
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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
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List of Maps, Illustrations, and Tables
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Zapata lives in southern Mexico through local histories that claim thedemands of Emiliano Zapata as their own and that, like all histories, in-terpret the past through the present. These histories were given a par-ticular interpretation in ejido communities in Oaxaca and Chiapas dur-ing the 1990s. The period during which this book was researched and...
Acronyms and Abbreviations
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As the year 1993 drew to a close, high-ranking members of Mexico’sgovernment prepared to celebrate the initiation of the North AmericanFree Trade Agreement (NAFTA) on 1 January 1994. Approval of thisagreement by the U.S. Congress in fall 1993 closed years of preparationand bargaining between the two countries. For those in the upper eche-...
PART I. THE POLITICAL AND HISTORICAL CONTEXTS OF ZAPATISMO
1. Introduction: The “Fields” of Anthropology, Human Rights, and Contemporary Zapatismo
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The purpose of this chapter is twofold: to introduce relevant backgroundinformation, and, more important, to locate myself within the context ofmy research in terms of my position in the international political econ-omy, my relationship to those I work with, and my ethical responsibili-ties as an anthropologist—in other words, what is my role in the stories...
2. Government Construction and Reappropriation of Emiliano Zapata
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This chapter looks primarily at one side of the interaction between theMexican government and local communities, focusing on how the gov-consolidate a postrevolutionary state and promote a dominant nation-alism, first in the 1920s and 1930s, then from 1990 through the end ofagrarian reform as Mexico restructured economically to meet NAFTA...
3. Ethnic and Racial Categories in Mexican History
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Chapter 2 describes government attempts to forge a discourse of uni-tary nationalism built around Zapata and the Mexican Revolution in the1930s and again in the 1990s. The next four chapters relate the specificstory of how indigenous men and women in eastern Chiapas ultimatelyclaimed Zapata and Zapatismo as their own, beginning in the 1980s. To...
PART II. ZAPATISMO IN EASTERN CHIAPAS
4. The Historical Roots of Indigenous Struggle in Chiapas
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Colonial history in Chiapas, along with later trends in the republicanperiod, set important precedents for indigenous loss of land and effortsto reclaim it. The system of encomiendas, put into operation between1523 and 1531, laid the basis for the exploitation of the indigenous pop-ulation. Some communities in the Tzeltal- and Tzotzil-speaking high-...
5. The New Zapatismo in the Lacandon Jungle
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In her mid fifties, Comandante Trinidad cuts an imposing figure at apress conference. Unlike the female comandantes who participated inthe second round of peace dialogues between the Ejército Zapatista de1996, Trini is from an older generation. Her long white hair reaches herwaist as it flows below the red bandanna she wears over her face, a Za-...
6. Zapata Vive! Lacandon Zapatismo and Its Translation to Larger Mexico
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...solute shortage of lands, as is established in our revolutionarySince its first appearance in the press in Mexico, the EZLN has used thefigure of Emiliano Zapata as a central symbol in communiqués writtenby its supreme authority, the Clandestine Indigenous RevolutionaryCommittee, constituted in early 1993. This chapter seeks in part to es-...
7. Conversations with Zapatistas: The Revolutionary Law of Women and Military Occupation
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In eastern Chiapas, Zapatismo has been experienced in different waysby communities and by individuals. The process of becoming a Zapa-tista involves profound challenges and sacrifices for the young men andwomen who make up the armed ranks of the insurgentes who live full-time in military training camps, as well as for the men, women, and chil-...
PART III. NEW AND OLD ZAPATISMO IN OAXACA
8. The Historical Roots of Land Conflict and Organizing in Oaxaca
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While both support for and opposition to the Zapatistas is well docu-mented in the case of Chiapas, little attention has been paid to the reception to Zapatismo in other parts of rural Mexico. The next threechapters are written as a historical comparison to the stories of the eji-dos of Guadalupe Tepeyac and La Realidad and to describe in detail the...
9. The Story of Santa María del Tule: Zapata, Cárdenas, and “Good Guy” Officials
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In the ejidos of Santa María del Tule and Unión Zapata in Oaxaca, thefigures of Lázaro Cárdenas and Emiliano Zapata came to assume almostfamilial status in local histories. Cárdenas personally visited both com-munities during two trips to the region. As president of Mexico from1934 to 1940, he was personally involved in either providing initial and...
10. The Formation of the Ejido of Unión Zapata
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Please permit us to direct our attention to you in order to offer youAt the same time we are pleased to report to you that señor Inge-niero D. Cliserio Villafuerte was in a meeting with the señor Dele-pertinent to the urbanization of our community, which is now beingdesigned to our great satisfaction. Now they are gathering the con-...
11. Contradictions of Zapatismo in Rural Oaxaca
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This chapter seeks to clarify what I have come to call the “pro-Zapatistaand pro-PRI” stance found among some ejidatarios in Unión Zapata andSanta María del Tule in the mid 1990s, and to explain how this contra-diction contributed to a vote for the Partido Acción Nacional (PAN) in ElTule in the presidential elections of July 2000. The contradictory stance...
Conclusion: Reclaiming the Mexican Nation for the Poor and the Indigenous South
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The local histories of Unión Zapata, Santa María del Tule, GuadalupeTepeyac, and La Realidad show that people appropriate aspects of na-tional identity for their own purposes. An “experiential knowledge ofthe past transmitted through personal recollection can be harnessed in the context of political action,” Joanne Rappaport observes (1994,...
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Page Count: 445
Publication Year: 2002