Many people seem to have forgotten that the Zapatistas are still around. In fact, the Zapatistas, calling themselves the EZLN (Ejercito Zapatista de Liberación Nacionál) control two thirds of the state of Chiapas. The group directly represents 40 autonomous municipalities ruled by what they call the “Cinco Juntas de Buen Gobierno” (The five councils of good government).
Today, thousands of Zapatistas marched on the anniversary of the ‘Acteal Massacre’ of 1997. This date also coincides with the first day of the new ‘baktun’ of the Mayan calendar. This massive and impressively coordinated action is a response to the PRI’s return to presidential power in Mexico this December. The PRI is the government against whom the original Zapatista insurrection was raised in 1994. The PRI is also accused with responsibility for the Acteal Massacre, in which 45 indigenous people, including children and pregnant women, were gunned down while attending a church meeting in the municipality of ‘Chenalhó.’
EZLN groups in this action have gathered by foot and by bus into the municipal centers of Ocosingo, San Cristobal de Las Casas, Las Margaritas, and Palenque among others. Preliminary estimates project a total possible movilization of 30 to 50 thousand people from the Los Altos and Jungle regions of Chiapas. The action was nonviolent and extremely orderly. Men, women, and children wore black hoods covering their face, with a red bandanna around their necks and green, white, and red ribbons, well known as the three colors of Mexico’s flag.
Update: Jan 9 2013-
‘Subcommandante’ Marcos, the famous and outspoken public relations officer for the EZLN, released a very profound statement that has made the internet rounds, but which the mainstream media has summarily ignored. It is reproduced in it’s entirety here: http://tmblr.co/Z3sUaubPwW5Y