The Pope’s Encounter with Indigenous Mexico

Orsetta Bellani, Americas Program (Photo: O.B.)

Pope Francisco’s visit to San Cristobal de Las Casas in the southern state of Chiapas was perhaps his most symbolic visit on his six-day tour of Mexico last week. Here the Bishop of Rome held mass with indigenous peoples, in a city internationally known for the uprising of the Zapatista Army for National Liberation in 1994, which inaugurated an era of indigenous self-government in parts of the state. Continue reading…

Zapatista Intellectuals and Base Communities Discuss “Critical Thought and Capitalism”

Orsetta Bellani, Americas Program (Foto: O.B.)

Selena is 17 and her face is covered by a ski mask. She comes from the same community where Galeano, teacher and sergeant in the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) was born. Galeano was killed on May 2, 2014 by members of the government-allied organization Independent Central of Agricultural Workers and Campesinos-Historical (CIOAC-H). A few days after the death of the Zapatista, Selena was approached and threatened by the murderers of her fellow community member, but she was not afraid.

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Zapatistas march for Ayotzinapa in San Cristobal

Orsetta Bellani, Americas Program (Photo: O.B.)

The 20,000 members of the bases of the Zapatista Army for National Liberation marched briskly through San Cristobal de las Casas on October 8. They gathered on the outskirts of the city, under a blue sky stained with clouds that threateend rain and then walked in long, orderly lines toward the central plaza of the city. The long river of Zapatistas moved fluidly and silently; the only sound was the steps of their shoes and boots. They carried signs that read “Your rage is ours”, “Your pain is our pain” and “You are not alone”. Continue reading…

Zapatistas Decide to Do Away with Subcomandante Marcos

Orsetta Bellani, Upside Down World (Photos: O.B.)

A light mist was falling in Selva Lacandona on the night of May 24, 2014. More than 2,000 Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN) base supporters, dozens of the organization’s militants, members of the free media, and some 800 members of the Sexta (EZLN sympathizers) filled the basketball court at the Caracol of La Realidad, where the Autonomous Zapatista Government is headquartered. Continue reading…

The rights of Zapatista women

Orsetta Bellani, Latinamerican Press (Photo: O.B.)

Fabiana wakes every morning at 4:30 a.m., like all the women in her community. She grinds the corn she boiled the night before until it becomes soft dough, from which she forms a few balls that once flattened and cooked on a griddle become tortillas. Fabiana, who is ethnically Tzotzil Maya, is 23 years old, with a husband and two children, and also a member of the support base for the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN).
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