Here’s What It’s Like To Live With The Zapatistas, 20 Years After Their Attempted Revolution

‘We cover our faces in order to be seen; we die in order to live.’ Twenty years of Zapatista revolution captured in a stunning photoessay.

RED POWER MEDIA

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SEP 23, 2014

Twenty years ago, in direct protest against the then-recently signed North American Free Trade Agreement, a makeshift uprising of Mayan farmers seized a collection of cities and towns in Chiapas, in Mexico’s remote southeastern corner. They were demanding rights for Mexico’s indigenous people, who they thought had long been treated unfairly and would suffer even more under the landmark economic deal.

Naming themselves the Zapatistas after Emiliano Zapata, a principal leader of the Mexican Revolution of 1910, they emerged as a populist left-wing movement that openly called for a new revolution in Mexico, one that would replace a government which they argued was completely out of touch with the needs of its people.

While that revolution never came to pass, the Zapatistas and their ideologies have remained a presence in Chiapas and in Mexico. They continue to vocally oppose and resist the government, and have broadened their…

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