HOMAGE TO CHIAPAS
The New Indigenous Struggles in Mexico
Verso Books, London & New York, 2000
288 pages 16 b/w photographs
1 85984 719 6
US $25 / CAN $35
tour of the south-of-the-border front... close-hand reporting from little-visited
corners of the country... A useful, provocative study."
slogs through jungles to uncover heroic, insurrectionary hopes radical journalism
the way it¹s supposed to be done."
The new Zapatistas
in Chiapas have served as a catalyst for revolutionary indigenous movements
across Mexico, pioneering a new model of resistance and posing a powerful
threat to the stability of the North American Free Trade Agreement. While
the masked Maya rebels of Chiapas have won some international media attention,
the local struggles for land and autonomy throughout Mexico¹s Indian
and campesino territories remain largely ignored even as new, more radical
guerilla movements have emerged in the states of Oaxaca and Guerrero.
In HOMAGE TO
CHIAPAS, award-winning journalist Bill Weinberg provides a comprehensive
account of the Zapatista rebellion from the uprising of January 1, 1994 to
the present day, with numerous first-hand eye-witness accounts. But he also
explores the civil campesino struggles unfolding beyond the reach of the international
media¹s eye. In the lush fields and wetlands of Tabasco, Maya campesinos
and fishermen blockade the oil wells of the state monopoly Pemex in protest
of the degradation of their lands and waters. In the central Mexican village
of Tepoztlan, plans for a giant GTE computer complex and golf course on communal
lands spark a local uprising and seizure of power by Tepozteco Indian councils.
From the pine-clad mountains of Oaxaca to the arid canyons of Chihuahua,
Indian communities struggle to reclaim their lands from drug cartels and
outlaw timber operations. In Guerrero, where campesinos face growing militarization
of their lands as mysterious new guerilla groups emerge, Weinberg becomes
the first US reporter to contact the Revolutionary Army of the Insurgent
People (ERPI), now Mexico¹s second-largest clan-destine armed organization.
HOMAGE TO CHIAPAS
traces the current struggles to roots in the pre-Columbian past, and explores
how the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN) is reinterpreting Emiliano
Zapata¹s tradition of resistance for a new Free Trade era. The book analyzes
NAFTA¹s impact on Mexico¹s campesinos, dis-sects
the new arteries of CIA/Pentagon-directed counter-insurgency in the guise of
the War on Drugs, and illustrates how corporate access to oil, timber and
other resources propel the US towards an escalated military role in Mexico.
Weinberg interviews Subcommander Marcos and other
central figures in the drama, and grapples with the Zapatistas¹ challenge
to their supporters to carry the struggle throughout Mexico and beyond it¹s
is a correspondent for Native Americas, the quarterly journal of Cornell
University¹s American Indian Studies Program. He is also a reporter
and columnist for High Times, the American counterculture monthly, and a
producer on New York¹s listener-supported WBAI Radio. When he is not
on the road in Mexico, he lives in his hometown of New York City.