May 29 2014

Zapatistas Face Paramilitary Crackdown in Chiapas

At 2am, deep in the jungles of Chiapas, Mexico on Sunday, the man calling himself Subcomandante Marcos announced that he had ceased to exist. Appearing in public for the first time in five years, the enigmatic and iconic leader of the Zapatistas resigned as head of the Zapatista National Army (EZLN) and announced that from that moment on he would instead be known as Galeano, his murdered comrade. He stated, “We believe that it is necessary for one of us to die so that Galeano may live on. So we have decided that Marcos must die today.”

Galeano was Jose Luis Solis Lopez who lived in the village of La Realidad. He was unarmed when he was gunned down by rightwing paramilitary forces earlier this month.

The Zapatistas were first launched onto the international stage in Chiapas, Mexico on January 1st 1994 and became synonymous with the anti-globalization movement against neo-liberal capitalism. Marcos, who never appeared without a ski mask covering his face, became a world-renowned resistance figure championing the rights of Mexico’s indigenous people.

GUEST: Roberto Flores, Professor of Chicano Studies at Cal State LA, long-time Chicano activist based in Los Angeles, and founder of East Side Café, a space in El Sereno that was in part inspired by the Zapatistas.

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