In January, the EZLN accused the government of violating the agreement by presenting an alternative proposal. The EZLN refused to resume the negotiations until the government met its five conditions. During the year, the EZLN organized large demonstrations to pressure the government to implement the San Andres Accords, the most spectacular being the march of 1111 Zapatistas to Mexico City. These demonstrations were unsuccessful. The government appeared to have decided to let the situation languish. More and more characteristics of low intensity warfare appeared in the conflict:
The government appeared to count on the EZLN losing its legitimacy in this prolonged low intensity war with all its complex political, militaristic, economic, juridical, and informative dimensions. At the same time the CONAI and the San Cristobal diocese were subjected to criticism and defamation campaigns.
A wave of violence was unleashed in the entire state from the Northern Zone (numerous actions by Peace and Justice including an attack against the Bishop of San Cristobal) to Chenalho, culminating in the massacre at Acteal of 45 people. The number of displaced people increased significantly to around 4000 in the Northern Zone and approximately 10,000 in the Highlands.