Peace Process, War Process

Brief history of the conflict in Chiapas

The conflict in Chiapas (1994-99) cannot be defined as something spontaneous, but rather as the result of a long and complex process in the context of historical injustice.
Leading up to the conflict, there were several factors to which one can point:
1
One characteristic of the conflict in Chiapas was the paradox of a rich state with one of the poorest populations in the country. In a state that produced 35% of the country's electrical energy, 34% of its inhabitants did not have access to this service. In an area rich in natural resources, agriculture, and oil, nearly 60% of the population survived on the minimum wage. Sixty percent of school-age children were unable to attend school and the illiteracy level is 30%. Only 57% had access to potable water. Fifteen thousand indigenous people died in 1993 due to their impoverished conditions. [These statistics are from 1994. More recent statistics indicate similar trends.]
2
Indigenous peoples in the state faced heavy racial discrimination, even though they represented 30% of the state population and almost the entire population lived in the conflict area.
3
Due to the exclusionary character of neo-liberalism and globalization, several other factors added to the high levels of marginalization of indigenous peoples:
  • The drop in coffee prices in 1989
  • The reform of article 27 of the Constitution in 1992 (to facilitate the commercialization of land) weakened the traditional ejido land system in the basic organizational structure of indigenous communities
  • The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) which came into effect January 1, 1994)
4
The group that eventually founded the EZLN (Zapatista Army for National Libera-tion) entered the jungle in 1983 with a traditional guerilla profile. As explained by Subcomandante Marcos in subsequent writings, the contact with indigenous communities changed and broadened the movement's perspective. This explains how, despite having a limited military force, the EZLN benefited from strong social support.
29/04/2017

2016

2016
29/04/2017

2015

Since his election to the presidency in 2012, Enrique Pena Nieto (EPN) has sought to change the perception of the “War Against Drug-trafficking”, declared by former […]
04/02/2015
© SIPAZ

2014

The forced disappearance of 43 students of the Normal Rural School of Ayotzinapa in Guerrero, in September, represented a milestone in terms of international perception of […]
31/01/2014
Zapatista autonomous high school, during the “little school,” August 2013 © SIPAZ

2013

Throughout the year, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) published several communiques. Some of them addressed the political context, while others discussed their new initiatives, […]
07/02/2013
© www.nortedigital.mx

2012

In more than one sense, 2012 was a transition year in the case of Chiapas. For the first time in this state, federal and local elections […]
18/01/2012
Javier Sicilia - Wikipedia

2011

The strategy of the campaign against drug-trafficking initiated in 2007 which, according to President Felipe Calderón, “is not a war,” has resulted as of the end […]
03/01/2011
2010

2010

While there is growing talk of “war in Mexico” both within and outside the country, this refers not to the unresolved armed conflict in Chiapas, but […]
04/01/2010
2009

2009

In 2009, Mexico came to occupy center-stage in international news due to the violence associated with organized crime as well as the H1N1 influenza epidemic. Internally, however, […]
02/01/2009
2008

2008

At the national level, 2008 was marked by a general increase in the prices of basic goods, gasoline, and electricity. These price-increases were exacerbated by the total […]
02/01/2008
2007

2007

In December, subcomandante Marcos Publisher a communiqué titled “Feeling Red: The Calendar and Geography of War” (“Sentir el rojo; el calendario y la geografía de la […]
02/01/2007
2006

2006

On July 2nd, federal elections were held in Mexico. Due to the minimal margin between the two leading candidates, the announcement of the winner was not […]
02/01/2006
2005

2005

In January, during his visit to Chiapas, President Vicente Fox claimed that the EZLN is an issue that “now essentially remains in the past and everyone […]
03/01/2005
2004

2004

Eleven years after the armed Zapatista uprising in Chiapas many think the conflict has been resolved or diminished at a national and international level. However, the […]
02/01/2004
2003

2003

On January 1st, more than 20,000 indigenous people “took over” the city of San Cristóbal. The EZLN broke the silence, condemming the three main political parties […]
02/01/2003
2002

2002

In March, the official plan for the Development of the Indigenous Peoples was presented, which tossed aside key aspects of the COCOPA law, and in their […]
02/01/2002
2001

2001

In the first months of the year, the Fox government continued to fulfill certain of the indicators demanded by the Zapatistas as prerequisites to reopening the […]
02/01/2001
2000

2000

In the case of Chiapas, any analysis of the year 2000 has to be understood within the context of both the state and federal elections. Hopes […]
03/01/2000
1994

1994

On January 1, 1994, the Zapatista Liberation Army (EZLN) declared war on the Mexican govern-ment and occupied four county seats in the state of Chiapas: San […]
03/01/2000
1995

1995

In January a meeting took place between the Zapatista Commanders and the then Secretary of State, Esteban Moctezuma Barragán. The date for the next meeting was […]
03/01/2000
1996

1996

In the beginning of January, the EZLN announced the creation of the Zapatista Front for National Liberation (FZLN), a new political force that was independent, peaceful, […]
03/01/2000
1997

1997

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 […]
03/01/2000
1998

1998

In 1998, the contradiction between the efforts towards peace and the policy of force engaged in by the government became more evident. The peace process appeared […]
03/01/2000
1999

1999

This tendency to regionalize the conflict to the maximum was reinforced in 1999. The government seemed to want to resolve the causes of the conflict (see […]