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Zapatista Women EZLN Emiliano Zapata Liberación Nacional.

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Presentation on theme: "Zapatista Women EZLN Emiliano Zapata Liberación Nacional."— Presentation transcript:

1 Zapatista Women EZLN Emiliano Zapata Liberación Nacional

2 Chiapas, Mexico A history of exploitation and poverty

3 Regional Differentiation
Central Highlands Agrarian Reform, Tradition, Catholicism Anti-Zapatista Coast Plantations, Commercial Agriculture East Ranchers, Landowners Colonization, refugees Grassroots organizations Liberation Theology Join EZLN

4 Inequality & Rebellion
Resources in Chiapas Oil Hydroelectric power Timber cattle

5 Mayan Peasants 1-4 has. Land (milpa agriculture)
7 of 10 homes lack electricity 9 of 10 homes lack drinking water Wages are 3 X lower than national 40% earn $1.74/day Infant mortality double national 67% malnourished

6 EZLN Led by Subcomandante Marcos Seized San Cristóbal de las Casas &
3 other towns January 1, 1994

7 EZLN Demands Land Housing Health care Education Jobs Democracy
Affirmation of Ethnic Identity

8 The EZLN Organization Civilian Bases Base Camp
Work in Indigenous Communities Cooperatives Base Camp Combatants Women in Leadership Positions

9 The Government Reaction
5000 Army troops sent to Chiapas (with support of arms and finances from the U.S.)

10 Militarization of Chiapas


12 The Acteal Massacre 45 killed 22 women 5 pregnant women 14 children
December 22, 1997 45 killed 22 women 5 pregnant women 14 children 1 under 1 year



15 Autonomous Communities

16 Defense of Indigenous Rights

17 Women & the EZLN

18 Comandante Ramona “Women have been the most exploited. We get up at three in the morning to prepare corn for our husband’s breakfast and we don’t rest until late at night. If there is not enough food we give it to our children and our husbands first. So women now have decided to take up arms and become Zapatistas.”

19    Comandante Esther

20 1995 San Andrés Accords Included Women’s Rights
1996 National Indigenous Contress Women Raised Demands “The First Uprising”

21 Women’s Revolutionary Law
In their just fight for the liberation of our people, the EZLN incorporates women in the revolutionary struggle Development of a more critical gendered perspective

22 A Story from Marcos: Susana, a Tzotzil, is upset. "I am angry," she tells me. "The compañeros say that it is my fault that the Zapatistas rose up last year in March 1993.

23 In March of 1993 the compañeros debated about what would later be the "Revolutionary Laws". Susana was in charge of going around to dozens of communities to speak with groups of women and put together, from her thoughts, the "Women's Laws".

24 Susana had to read the proposals that she had gotten together from the thoughts of thousands of Indigenous women. She started to read and, as she read on, the assembly of the CCRI became more and more restless. You could hear murmurs and comments. In Chol, Tzotzil, Tojolobal, Mam, Zoque and Spanish. The comments jumped from one side to the other. Susana, undisturbed, charged on against everyone and everything

25 "We don't want to be forced into marriage…” And she kept going like that until she was done. At the end there was a long silence.

26 The "Women's Laws" that Susana had just read meant a true revolution for the Indigenous communities. The women responsible were receiving the translation in their dialects of what Susana had said. The men looked at each other, nervously, restless.

27 All of a sudden all the translators ended almost at the same time
All of a sudden all the translators ended almost at the same time. And in a single movement, the compañeras responsible for the laws started to clap and talk among themselves. Needless to say, the "Women's Laws" were approved unanimously.

28 A Tzeltal man commented: "The good thing is that my wife doesn't understand Spanish, because otherwise " An insurgent official who was a woman and a high infantry rank, jumped on him: "You're fucked, because we are going to translate it into all the dialects."

29 The companero looked down
The companero looked down. The women responsible were singing, the men were scratching their heads.

30 Someone, as a joke, said that [January 1, 1994] was not the first uprising, that the first was March They joked with Susana and she left with a sharp "Fuck you" and something else in Tzotzil that nobody tried to translate. That was the truth: the first EZLN uprising was March, 1993 and was led by Zapatista women. There were no casualties, and they won.

31 Women’s Revolutionary Law
First--Women, regardless of their race, creed, color or political affiliation, have the right to participate in the revolutionary struggle in any way that their desire and capacity determine. Women’s Revolutionary Law

32 Second—Women have the right to work and earn a just salary.

33 Third—Women have the right to decide the number of children they have and care for.

34 Fourth—Women have the right to participate in the matters of the community and have charge if they are free and democratically elected.

35 Fifth—women and their children have the right to Primary Attention in their health and nutrition.

36 Sixth—women have the right to education.

37 Seventh—Women have the right to choose their partner and are not obliged to enter into marriage.

38 Eighth--Women have the right to be free of violence from both relatives and strangers. Rape and attempted rape will be severely punished.

39 Ninth--Women will be able to occupy positions of leadership in the organization and hold military ranks in the revolutionary armed forces.

40 Tenth--Women will have all the rights and obligations which the revolutionary laws and regulations give.

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