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Introduction

Author(s): Jan Rus, Rosalva Ada Hernndez Castillo , Shannan L. Mattiace


Reviewed work(s):
Source: Latin American Perspectives, Vol. 28, No. 2, The Indigenous People of Chiapas and the
State in the Time of Zapatismo: Remaking Culture, Renegotiating Power (Mar., 2001), pp. 7-19
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Introduction
by
Jan Rus,
Rosalva Aida Herndndez
Castillo,
and Shannan L Mattiace
As news
began filtering
out of Mexico on
January
1, 1994,
that
indigenous
rebels had seized San Crist6bal and three other
large
towns in the southern
state of
Chiapas,
researchers and activists who work in the state
began calling
each other. Did
anyone
know who the
insurgents
were or where
they
were
from? Was the takeover a
demonstration,
a
strike,
or
really
an armed attack?
What were the rebels'
demands,
and what did
they plan
to do next?
Soon
enough,
Subcomandante Marcos and the
Zapatistas
would answer
these
questions
for themselves.' But it is an indication of
just
how
politically
mobilized-and
radicalized-Chiapas's indigenous people
had become that
during
those first confused hours there were almost as
many plausible
theo-
ries about the rebels'
identity
as there were friends consulted. One
thought
that
they might
be one of the self-defense
groups organized by refugees
from
the Tzotzil
Maya municipalities just
north of San Cristobal. Over the
preced-
ing
20
years,
thousands had been driven from these communities in reli-
giously tinged struggles
for control of local
government,
and confrontations
had
recently
moved into the
city.
Another
suggested
that
they might
be mem-
bers of the
indigenous
movement from Venustiano
Carranza,
a Tzotzil and
mestizo town
overlooking Chiapas's
central
valley. Through political
influ-
ence and an almost casual
willingness
to assassinate
peasant
leaders,
Carranza's landowners had held onto their ranches for more than 30
years
after the
agrarian
reform had
"definitively" expropriated
them,
and a new
cycle
of demonstrations and
reprisals
had
just begun.
Still another
thought
that
they might
be one of the
independent political organizations
of
Maya
set-
tlers from the Lacand6n
jungle.
When President Carlos Salinas had revoked
agrarian
reform in 1992 as
part
of Mexico's
preparations
for the North Amer-
ican Free Trade
Agreement (NAFTA),
he had dashed such
groups' hopes
of
Jan Rus is an
anthropologist
with inclinations toward
history
and a
coordinating
editor of Latin
American
Perspectives.
Since
1985,
he and his wife have collaborated with Tzotzil and Tzeltal
Maya
communities in the
Chiapas highlands
in
publishing
their own histories in their own lan-
guages.
Rosalva Aida Hernndez Castillo is a researcher at the Center for Research and
Advanced Studies in Social
Anthropology,
Central,
in Mexico
City.
Shannan L. Mattiace
teaches
political
science at
Allegheny College.
The collective thanks them for their work in
orga-
nizing
this issue.
LATIN AMERICAN
PERSPECTIVES,
Issue
117,
Vol. 28 No.
2,
March 2001 7-19
? 2001 Latin American
Perspectives
7
8 LATIN AMERICAN PERSPECTIVES
gaining
title to their
lands,
and in
response they
had become
increasingly
mil-
itant. And
finally,
a last
thought
that while
they might
be
any
of the
above,
they might
also be members of coffee
cooperatives,
unable to
repay
their
loans and in
danger
of
losing
their collective
property
as a result of the col-
lapse
of the world coffee
market,
or
perhaps
small corn farmers from the
Central
Valley-Indians
and mestizos alike-who had been
invading gov-
ernment offices on and off for a decade to
protest
low
prices
and late
payment
for their harvests.
In
short,
many
who knew
Chiapas
well felt that the
people
in
any
one of
several
regions-and perhaps
all of them-were on the
point
of
rebelling.2
Taken
together,
their
opinions
indicate not
only
the
depth
of the crisis that had
afflicted the state's
mostly indigenous
rural
society
for more than a
genera-
tion but the extent to which
indigenous people
themselves had for some time
past
been
forging independent,
often
quite
confrontational
responses
to that
crisis. The sources and
variety
of these
responses,
the
ways they
have evolved
in the seven
years
since
1994,
and their
implications
for the future of
politics
in
Chiapas
and
perhaps beyond
are the themes of this
special
issue.
A LITTLE HISTORY
To understand the context that
gave
rise not
only
to the
Zapatista
move-
ment but to the other
expressions
of
indigenous
activism
explored
below,
we
need to situate the
present period historically.
From a
long-term perspective,
Chiapas
has been
emerging
over the
past
30
years
from a
period
of
depen-
dence on
tropical, plantation agriculture
that
began
in the late nineteenth cen-
tury.
Before
that,
the state was an isolated
region
in which the owners of
large,
underdeveloped
estates made their incomes
mostly
from
cattle,
sugar,
and
grains
that
they produced
with Indian labor
conscripted
from
nearby villages.
Trade in these
products
was
mostly
contained within the state or at most with
immediately neighboring regions.
The state's small cities also
depended
on
Indians for their
livelihood,
collecting
civil and
religious
taxes from them and
recirculating agricultural
and artisan
products
that
indigenous people
traded
on
highly
unfavorable terms in the towns' markets. In
sum,
Chiapas
was a
closed,
largely stagnant
backwater.
Suddenly,
however,
during
the
1890s,
Chiapas
became one of the most
profitable agricultural regions
in Mexico. Over the next
century,
it was the
nation's
largest
source of
coffee,
providing approximately
40
percent
of the
annual harvest-an amount
equal by
itself,
before the oil boom of the
1970s,
to 4 to 5
percent
of the
country's export
income. It was also
consistently
one
of the
top
5 of 31 Mexican states in
chocolate,
sugar,
bananas,
and other
Rus, Hemandez Castillo,
& Mattiace / INTRODUCTION 9
tropical
fruits,
commercial corn and
beans, and,
at different
periods,
rubber,
cotton,
and rice.
The
story
of how this transformation occurred is one of the state
aiding pri-
vate
capital. During
the 1880s and
1890s,
on the crest of
booming
world mar-
kets for
tropical agricultural
commodities,
approximately
one-third of
Chiapas's
surface area-the third most
appropriate
for
tropical agriculture-
was sold
by
the
government
in tracts of thousands of hectares at almost
give-
away prices.
The
purchasers
were
overwhelmingly foreign-especially
Ger-
mans and North Americans-and
they quickly began
to establish
plantations.
Among
the first difficulties
they
encountered, however,
was a labor
shortage,
and
again
the state
stepped
in. In
fact,
in all the
Chiapas
investment
prospec-
tuses of this
period,
land
promoters
and
government agencies
had advertised
that
among
the state's valuable "resources" were its
"plentiful,
docile,
hard-
working,
and underutilized" Indians. Now
ways
had to be discovered to
get
that
population
to work.
Among
the first measures tried were new taxes to
force Indians into
debt,
widespread
arrests of
indigenous
men at markets and
their
subsequent
auction to labor
contractors,
and
wage
advances and
simple
debt itself.
Soon, however,
planters,
labor
contractors,
and the
government
realized that as
long
as
indigenous people
had the
capacity
to feed themselves
from their own lands
they
could avoid debt and even avoid
coming
to cities
and markets. What was
needed,
then
(and
this was
explicitly
discussed in
these terms at the
time),
was to reduce or eliminate native communities'
landholdings. Accordingly, during
the 20
years
before the 1910
Revolution,
most of the
tropical
lowlands that
indigenous people
had held at the
begin-
ning
of the 1880s and almost half of the
relatively
less fertile land in the
mountains was
expropriated
and sold.3
The measure was
enormously
successful:
through
the
1970s,
almost a
century
later,
the land
poverty
that was native
peoples' legacy
from the
prerevolutionary period
was still
forcing
them to seek work outside of their
own territories. At the
beginning
of that
decade,
it can be estimated that some
80,000
indigenous
men-out of a total of
100,000-were
moving
around the
state each
year
from one harvest to another. Even the
agrarian
reform,
which
finally
came to most of Indian
Chiapas
in the late
1930s,
had failed to
remedy
this
dependence.
On the
contrary,
since over time the land returned to com-
munities
barely kept pace
with
population
increases,
the net effect of land
reform was
actually
to
keep indigenous people
tied down where
they
were.
They always
had
just enough
land to make it hard for them to abandon their
home communities
altogether
but not
enough
to let them be self-sufficient.
Essentially,
radical
dispossession,
followed
by carefully
rationed land
reform,
ensured for almost 100
years
that
Chiapas's indigenous
communities
10 LATIN AMERICAN PERSPECTIVES
would
provide
a
regularly increasing
labor
supply
to the state's
steadily
expanding agriculture (Stavenhagen,
1969; Wasserstrom, 1980; 1983).
None of this was achieved
easily,
of course. From the late nineteenth cen-
tury
on,
with less than a decade out for the
revolution,
the state in
Chiapas
used its various
police
forces and
occasionally
the
army
to
compel indige-
nous
people
to
comply
with the
planters'
new order. In
addition,
landowners
and labor
contractors,
in some
regions right up
to the
present,
have had their
own militarized forces to
protect
fence
lines,
collect
debts,
and round
up
recalcitrant workers.
Indigenous
communities resisted where and when
they
could in
ways
that went from
dressing young boys
as
girls
to avoid labor con-
scription tojoining
armed rebellions.4 Most of
all, however,
day-to-day
resis-
tance was
accomplished by fiercely defending
the
solidarity
of local commu-
nities in the face of external
authority.
A COMPARATIVE ETHNOGRAPHY OF EXPLOITATION
If
Chiapas's indigenous people
never
stopped struggling
to limit the
power
exercised over them
by
landowners,
labor
contractors,
and the
state,
it
is nevertheless true that a
century
of
plantation agriculture
left its mark on all
of them. Over
time,
the
interplay
between their resistance and their
place
in
Chiapas's
division of labor
shaped
the communities themselves. The
large
populations
of Tzotzil and Tzeltal
Mayas
in the central
highlands,
for
instance,
who tended to live far from the
places
in which native labor was
employed,
were enrolled in the
plantation economy
from the late nineteenth
century
on
primarily
as
seasonal,
migrant
workers. Because of
judicious
expropriation
of their "excess" lands
during
the decades
immediately preced-
ing
the
revolution,
they
had been forced to
depend
on such
part-time,
outside
labor to
supplement
the food
they
could
grow
on their
remaining property.
In
effect,
their communities became "homelands" in the South African sense:
spaces
in which native workers
reproduced
themselves but where the lack of
resources left them little choice but to
participate
in the
migratory
stream
as
sharecroppers
and contract workers.
By
the end of the
plantation period,
most
highland
Tzotzil and Tzeltal
Mayas
remained tied to
"closed,
corpo-
rate communities" of several thousand members in which the state
governed
indirectly through
"traditional"
governments
and
religious systems
inher-
ited from the
colony. (Christine
Eber's article below is based on such a
community.)
In the northern
valleys
and foothills
bordering
the Lacand6n
jungle,
in
contrast,
the boom of the late nineteenth and
early
twentieth centuries had led
to almost
complete expropriation
of native lands in order to transform them
Rus,
Hernindez
Castillo,
& Mattiace / INTRODUCTION 11
into
plantations.
Thereafter,
the better
part
of the
region's
Tzeltal, Tzotzil,
and Ch'ol
people
had been forced to become
acasillados,
in effect entailed
serfs,
on their own ancestral
property.
Much more
captive populations
than
the communities of the
highlands,
these
people
lived in
plantation quarters
or
villages
of at most several dozen families and were watched over
directly by
estate
managers
and armed
guards.
Nevertheless,
some of the local
popula-
tion remained
free,
and some core
community
structures also survived. Con-
sequently, people
even on the
plantations
were able to maintain contact and
identify
with their local communities.
(X6chitl Leyva
Solano's
article,
although
focused on the
period
since
1994,
is about descendants of such
people.)
Finally,
in the
relatively
less
densely populated Tojolabal
and Mam
regions
of eastern and southern
Chiapas, by
the
early
twentieth
century
the
civil-religious community
structures inherited from the colonial
period
no
longer
existed at all.5 As Shannan Mattiace tells us
below,
in the rich cattle
and
grain-growing region
inhabited
by
the
Tojolabals,
such communal insti-
tutions had been erased
by
a confiscation of native land that was
already
largely complete by
the middle of the nineteenth
century,
50
years
before the
process began among
the northern
Tzotzils, Tzeltals,
and Ch'ols. As a
result,
the
Tojolabals
tended to
identify
with their finca
villages. They
did
gather
for
regional
fiestas,
but the
community
itself was deterritorialized. The Mams of
the southern Sierra described
by
Rosalva Aida Hernandez Castillo in this
issue, meanwhile,
had been resettled around the turn of the twentieth
century
in the mountains behind southern
Chiapas's
rich coffee
plantations,
for
which
they provided
much of the
year-round wage
labor.
Possessing
little
land of their own and
subject
to control
by
labor contractors and
landlords,
in
the decades after the revolution the Mams
discreetly
created new kinds of
communal structure for themselves more or less out of
sight
of the state.6
THE END OF THE PLANTATIONS
The historical
period
characterized
by
the
relatively
stable
relationship
among indigenous people,
the
agricultural economy,
and the state described
above
finally began
to
change
in the late 1960s or
early
1970s and
by
the
early
1980s was
clearly
over. In
retrospect,
it
appears
that the first
stage
in this shift
was
triggered by
a decline in the
profitability
of
agriculture. Stagnant
or fall-
ing commodity prices, rising
costs of fertilizer and
fuel,
scarce and
expensive
credit for
farming,
unfavorable
exchange
rates for
exporters-as
the 1970s
went
on,
the cumulative
impact
of these conditions led
large
landowners to
stop investing
in their land and scale back
production.
Indeed,
many began
to
12 LATIN AMERICAN PERSPECTIVES
pull
out of
agriculture altogether
and either sold their land or converted it to
cattle
raising. (Even
as other
products
were
slumping during
the
1970s,
Chiapas's
herd doubled from 2 to 4
million.) Finally, by
the
1990s,
most
large
landowners had abandoned the
countryside altogether,
to be
replaced by
small
property
owners and
ejidatarios,
or communal holders. While these
new farmers did
begin slowly
to increase
production again
in the late
1980s,
they
did not need as much hired labor as the
plantations they replaced.
The
effect of all these
changes
was that demand for
agricultural
laborers
probably
reached its
peak
in the
early
to mid-1970s and then declined
through
most of
the 1980s before
creeping
back to former levels at the end of that decade. As
of the
mid-1990s,
it
appeared
to be almost
exactly
what it had been 20
years
earlier.7
Meanwhile, however,
over these same 20
years, indigenous Chiapas
was
experiencing
a
population explosion.
From
approximately
100,000
indige-
nous men who needed to work to feed their families in
1970,
the number had
more than doubled to over
200,000
by
1990. On
top
of
this, however,
begin-
ning
in the
early
1980s,
some
200,000
Guatemalan
Mayas-as many
as
40,000
of them adult men-had taken
refuge
in the state.
People
accustomed
to
doing exactly
the same kind of
agricultural
labor as
Chiapas's
Indians,
the
Guatemalans were even more
desperate
and soon became the workers of
choice
in,
for
instance,
the southern
coffee-producing region.
To the extent
that such
things
can be calculated
(no government
has ever
kept
track of the
employment
of
indigenous people
in
Chiapas),
what this all meant was
that,
having employed perhaps
80
percent
of the state's
indigenous
workers in
1970,
Chiapas's agriculture
needed
only approximately
40
percent
of them
by
1990,
and those had to
compete
with Guatemalan
refugees
for the
jobs.
Essentially, Chiapas's indigenous peoples,
who for almost a
century
had been
maneuvered into
relying
on
seasonal,
often
migratory agricultural
labor to
maintain
themselves,
suddenly
found that the
agricultural economy
did not
need them.
The search for
ways
to survive these
rapid changes
has
occupied
the ener-
gies
of almost two
generations
now.
Taking just
the economic
responses
first,
perhaps
the most famous has been the establishment of new
agricultural
colo-
nies in the Lacand6n
jungle. Beginning
in the 1960s and
gathering
force in
the 1970s and
1980s,
tens of thousands of
indigenous people
from all of
Chiapas's regions
made this
move,
and
by
the 1990s there were more than
200,000
of them
occupying
more than
1,000
new communities
(see Leyva
Solano and Hernmndez
Castillo,
in this
issue). Starting
a few
years
later,
tens
of thousands more
migrated
to
Chiapas's
cities,
where
they
found work as
laborers and in various kinds of
petty
commerce. Before the
1970s,
there
were
practically
no urban Indians in
Chiapas. By
the second half of the
Rus,
Hernmndez
Castillo,
& Mattiace / INTRODUCTION 13
1990s,
there were
perhaps
120,000
speakers
of
Maya languages
settled on the
outskirts of San
Crist6bal,
Tuxtla
Gutierrez,
Ocosingo,
and
Palenque.
As in
the
jungle,
the new urban dwellers tended to form
coherent,
self-governing,
ethnically indigenous
colonias.
Another,
less visible economic
response
has
been the
development
of new
productive
activities within the restricted terri-
tories
indigenous people already
controlled. Artisan
production,
flower,
fruit,
and
vegetable growing,
and intensified food
production using
chemi-
cals are some of the alternatives that have been tried.
Finally, throughout
indigenous Chiapas
there has been an increase in the distances
people
are
willing
to
migrate
to find work.
By
the late
1970s,
these
peregrinations
had
begun
for the first time to
pass
the borders of
Chiapas, reaching
construction
sites in Cancun and on the Gulf Coast.
By
the late
1990s,
they
had extended to
the United
States,
where
perhaps
15,000
indigenous people
from
Chiapas-a
number that is
growing every
day-are
now
picking vegetables
in the South-
east and
plucking
chickens in the Midwest.8
In
short,
in
barely
30
years,
the economic foundation of
Chiapas's indige-
nous communities
through
most of the
past century
has been
swept away.
In
response, indigenous people
have been
breaking
out of the
old,
carefully
managed labor-camp
communities to find new
ways
of
making
a
living
and
even new
places
to live.
Significantly,
however,
when
they
talk about these
years, they
stress not the material
changes
but the new
political
self-con-
sciousness and sense of ethnic
identity
that have come from
confronting
the
crisis on their own and
finding
their own solutions.
Lately,
it has become
common to refer to the entire
period
as the time of
"awakening."
The
papers
in this
collection,
while
grounded
in the economics and
history
of
indigenous Chiapas,
are about the
sources,
workings,
and
implications
of
this new
politics
of self-determination
(see Figure 1).
POWER AND
CULTURE,
CULTURE AND POWER
The most
spectacular example
of
Chiapas's
new
indigenous politics
is of
course the
regional society
behind the
Zapatista
movement itself. X6chitl
Leyva
Solano describes the
way
the
indigenous migrants
from other
regions
who founded
small,
isolated colonias in the Cafiadas
region
of the Lacand6n
jungle during
the 1970s and
1980s,
left to
themselves,
organized
an
egalitar-
ian,
democratic
regional confederation-virtually
a
Maya
state
(Leyva
and
Ascencio, 1996). Bringing
her account
up
to the
present,
she writes that since
the rebellion in
1994, however,
and
particularly
since the onset of the
political
and
military
stalemate in
1996,
divisions have
begun
to
appear.
Some of these
have been
deliberately
induced
by
the
government, army,
and
paramilitary
14 LATIN AMERICAN PERSPECTIVES
Figure
1:
Chiapas, Showing
the
Regions
Covered in This Issue
groups. Ironically,
however,
others have been caused
by
international
sup-
porters
of the
Ejercito Zapatista
de Liberaci6n Nacional
(Zapatista
National
Liberation
Army-EZLN).
The
problem, Leyva argues,
is that
"pluralism,"
which Westerners see as beneficial and
encourage,
is
experienced by many
indigenous people
as divisive.
Fearing
that
outsiders,
friends almost as much
Rus, Hemrndez Castillo,
& Mattiace / INTRODUCTION 15
as
enemies,
are
undermining
their consensus-based
politics,
the colonists
have
recently
taken measures to reassert control of their own
organization
and
territory.
From the Lacandon
jungle
we move to a cluster of
pro-Zapatista
hamlets
in the central
highlands municipality
of Chenalh6.
According
to Christine
Eber,
in
1994,
in reaction to what
they
considered the
corrupt
rule of their
region by
minions of the
ruling party,
the Partido Revolucionario
Institucional
(Institutional Revolutionary party-PRI),
local
people
declared
themselves
"support
bases" of the
Zapatistas.
Soon
thereafter,
they pro-
claimed an autonomous
municipality independent
of state and federal con-
trol.9 Eber traces the
struggle
for local economic
improvement
and self-deter-
mination that
lay
behind these
extraordinary
decisions from the
inside,
as it
unfolded for
community
members themselves over the course of more than a
decade of collective decision
making.
In the last
section,
she describes the
community's
resistance to the
low-intensity
warfare unleashed
against
it
since
1996,
including
its reaction to the December 1997 massacre in the
neighboring
hamlet of Acteal.
Compared
with the
extremely
focused,
localized communities of
Chenalho and the central
highlands,
the
Tojolabals
of eastern
Chiapas
seem
not to
belong
to communities at all.
According
to the
political
scientist
Shannan
Mattiace,
having
been
dispersed
as laborers on cattle and
grain
ranches in the mid-nineteenth
century, they
do not
identify
with a
particular
Tojolabal "place." Consequently, they
have little interest in the
self-govern-
ment of small units like the hamlets of Chenalh6.
However,
the
necessity
of
forging regionwide
alliances to
fight
for
political rights
and
agrarian
reform
land led them decades
ago
to
begin experiencing
themselves as a
single "peo-
ple."
In recent
years,
as
corporate
communities elsewhere have
begun
to
break down as a result of
migration
and
urbanization,
the well-established
pan-Tojolabal
movement has become a model for other
regional
movements
and even for the idea of
pan-Maya
and
pan-Indian
identities and
politics
in
general.'?
Long
viewed
by many
Mexicans as
"Guatemalans," the Mams of
Chiapas's
southern Sierra were from the 1930s on forced to lead a double life.
Publicly, they pretended
to conform to Mexican national
norms,
while
pri-
vately,
inside their churches and
communities,
they
continued to
practice
Mam
identity.
Since the
1970s,
according
to the
anthropologist
Rosalva Aida
Hernandez
Castillo,
they
have used
government programs
that were
sup-
posed
to
encourage
their assimilation to increase their
rights
and
resources,
co-opting
the
very agencies
that
thought they
were
co-opting
the Mams.
Hernandez Castillo
argues
that
following
the
Zapatista uprising
the diverse
Mam
organizations
and communities that had
emerged
from these earlier
16 LATIN AMERICAN PERSPECTIVES
periods
were
positioned
to react
differently.
Some became
radicalized,
others
took
advantage
of the
government's
sudden need for
indigenous
allies to
secure
large government grants
and
loans,
and still others
rejected entangle-
ments with either the EZLN or the
government
and retreated into a kind of
religious
isolationism
(see Hernindez Castillo, 2001).
Finally,
a more
general perspective
on
indigenous rights
is
provided by
Gustavo Esteva. From his
positions
as an adviser to the
Zapatistas
at the
peace
talks in
Chiapas
and a member of the commission that wrote
indige-
nous
autonomy
into the constitution of the
neighboring
state of
Oaxaca,
Esteva has had a
privileged
view of the
process
of
redefining
the
rights
and
place
of
indigenous people.
Given the
diversity
of Mexico's
indigenous
groups,
he
argues,
it is not reasonable to
expect
that there be
just
one formula
for their internal
organization
or
relationship
to the state. What is
indispens-
able, however,
is that
indigenous peoples
status as
peoples
with their own lan-
guages,
cultures,
and forms of
government
be
respected,
and with it their
right
to self-determination within the constraints of
membership
in a
plural
whole. At this
point
in Mexico's
history,
he
concludes,
"tolerance" of
indige-
nous
people,
with its
implication
of
letting
them exist but
paying
no attention
to
them-leaving
them alone-is not
enough.
What is called for is the active
embrace of
"hospitality."
The articles that follow
plus
five more will soon
appear
in book form as
part
of Latin American
Perspectives'
new series of readers to be
published by
Rowman and Littlefield. The same collection will
appear simultaneously
in
Spanish
in
Mexico,
jointly sponsored by
the Centro de
Investigaciones y
Estudios
Superiores
en
Antropologfa
Social
(CIESAS)
and the International
Work
Group
on
Indigenous
Affairs
(IWGIA).
All three
publications grew
out
of a
pair
of linked
panels sponsored by
Latin American
Perspectives
at the
1997
meetings
of the Latin American Studies Association in
Guadalajara.
In
addition to those whose
papers
are included
here,
the other members of the
panels
were Andres
Aubry,
Araceli
Burguete, George
Collier,
Andres
Medina,
Gaspar Morquecho,
Jan
Rus,
and Abelardo Torres. We are
grateful
to Reid
Reading
and the LASA Travel Fund for the
support
that
helped
make
these
panels possible. Finally,
we thank all the members of the LAP collective
who read and commented on the articles and
especially
Ron
Chilcote,
Enrique
Ochoa,
Richard
Stahler-Sholk,
and Heather Williams.
NOTES
1. The existence of the EZLN was
not,
of
course,
a secret to those who lived and worked in
the Lacand6n
jungle.
In addition to
indigenous people
themselves,
missionaries and
political
Rus,
Hermindez
Castillo,
& Mattiace / INTRODUCTION 17
activists knew of or
suspected
its existence from the late 1980s on
(see Harvey, 1998; Legorreta
Diaz, 1998).
There
were,
in
addition,
some
very explicit
stories in the national
press through
the
summer and fall of 1993
(e.g.,
"En
Chiapas
descubren un
campo
de entrenamiento de
grupos
armados," Proceso, August
23, 1993;
"Hay guerrilleros
en
Chiapas
desde hace ocho afios:
grupos
radicales infiltraron a la
Iglesia y
a las comunidades," Proceso,
September 13, 1993).
2. For the
background
of the rebellion in the
political history
of
Chiapas's indigenous peo-
ples,
see,
in addition to
Harvey (1998)
and
Legorreta
Dfaz
(1998),
Collier
(1999), Leyva
and
Ascencio
(1996),
and Womack
(1999).
For treatments focused more on the EZLN
itself,
see
Ross
(1994),
Tello
Diaz (2000),
and Le Bot
(1997). Finally,
for a review of the literature avail-
able in
English,
see the
essay by
Mark T.
Berger
in this issue.
3. For a
comprehensive history
of the late nineteenth
century,
see
Benjamin (1989).
4.
During
the twentieth
century,
in the
highlands
near San Crist6bal
alone,
these
included,
before the
Zapatista
movement,
the
Pajarito
Rebellion
(1910-1911),
the Revolution
(1914-1919),
the armed takeover of
agrarian
reform lands
(1938-1939),
and armed resistance to
alcohol taxes
(1949-1954).
5.
Assuming-conservatively-a
25
percent
increase in the 1990
populations
of
Chiapas's
main
Maya linguistic groups,
their numbers in 2000 would be
approximately
the
following:
Tzeltals, 460,000; Tzotzils, 405,000; Ch'ols, 205,000;
Tojolabals, 65,000;
and
Mams, 14,000.
Indigenous populations
increased from 40 to 50
percent per
decade between 1960 and 1990. Pre-
liminary
results of the 2000 census indicate a lower rate.
6. For
descriptions
of the internal
organizations
of each of these kinds of
communities,
see
Rus
(1994)
and Collier
(1999),
Toledo
(1996)
and
Alejos (1994),
Ruz
(1986),
and Hernmndez
Castillo
(2001).
7. On the
impact
of these economic and
demographic changes,
see Collier
(1999)
and Rus
(1995).
8.
Although
less
spectacular
than the moves to the
jungle
or
cities,
all of these new
adapta-
tions have
profound implications
for the internal life of the "old"
communities, affecting gender
relations,
internal stratification,
the formation of local
political factions,
and
eventually perhaps
emigration (see, e.g.,
Cancian, 1992; Rosenbaum, 1993; Gossen, 1989).
9. For more on the movement in
Chenalh6,
see Eber
(1995; 1998)
and Hernmndez Castillo
et al.
(1998).
10. For more on
Tojolabal regional autonomy
see
Burguete (1999).
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