Mexican Indians Seize Towns and Demand Land in Challenge to Salinas

By David Clark Scott, writer of The Christian Science Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, January 1, 1994 | Go to article overview

Mexican Indians Seize Towns and Demand Land in Challenge to Salinas


David Clark Scott, writer of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


IN the first guerrilla uprising in Mexico since the 1970s, armed peasant rebels took control of five southern Mexico towns by force on Saturday, New Year's Day, in a challenge to the government of President Carlos Salinas de Gortari.

The Zapatista National Liberation Army, a heavily armed and virtually unknown group, took over the radio stations, blocked the roads leading in and out of towns, and occupied the mayors' offices in San Cristobal de las Casas, the second largest city in the state of Chiapas. They also took control of four smaller towns. Police said six people were killed and 18 wounded in gun fights with the guerrilla group.

Then, on Sunday, they fled San Cristobal leaving behind messages that their "revolution" would continue. According to Dr. Pablo Farias, a psychiatrist and resident of San Cristobal reached by telephone, the guerrillas were in absolute control of the town and did not threaten townspeople. "They're not threatening the townspeople. Clearly, this was not a spur of the moment act. They are very well organized and equipped. It's an army," he said.

The rebel group claims 1,500 members - all Mexican. The Chiapas government says there are no more than 200. Local press reports put the total in all five towns at 800 to 900. Seeking land, education

The guerrillas, mostly indigenous people with their own language, demanded that President Salinas resign. They say his government has ignored the plight of the Indians in the Lancandon Forest. They seek land, farm financing, education, and the release of "political" prisoners. "We are the product of 500 years of victimization that began with the Spanish," said one guerrilla leader dressed in new army fatigues, a red bandana around his neck, and an automatic rifle slung over his shoulder.

"We are dying of hunger and disease," he said reading a statement on television. "We have nothing, absolutely nothing: not a decent roof, nor land, nor work, nor education.... Today, we say: Enough!" History of land disputes

A statement issued by the Interior Ministry on Saturday evening said that the Mexican Army would seek to avoid confrontation. It called the group's social demands "valid" but added "what is not justifiable ... is the violation of the human rights of those {citizens} who are not the cause of the problems."

Chiapas, which borders Guatemala, is one of Mexico's poorest states with a high percentage of indigenous people. It has a history of land and religious disputes. The federal government estimates that about 30 percent of all Mexican land conflicts take place in Chiapas, which has only 4 percent of the nation's population. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Mexican Indians Seize Towns and Demand Land in Challenge to Salinas
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.