Zapatistas: Crónica de una Rebelión

The two-hour documentary video, Zapatistas, chronicling a rebellion, is a timely recount and update of the Chiapas indigenous uprising. It is not built from extensive interviews, nor to Subcomandante Marcos, nor to historians and other academics specialized in the conflict, nor does it intend to enter the daily lives of the insurgents in a military siege. It chronicles a decade of fighting and skirmishes with the Army, negotiations with representatives of the federal power, a decade of intense activity (national impact and internationalization of the rebel word), and strategic prolonged silences. Zapatistas begins with the reminder of the emblematic date, January 1, 1994, entry into force of the Free Trade Agreement and the start of the indigenous uprising after ten years of gestation and preparation. The myth of social peace and Salinas prosperity collapses and world opinion becomes more aware of the enormous backwardness of the Mexican countryside and the extreme marginalization of indigenous populations.

The video is divided into two parts: the first corresponds to the declaration of war launched by the insurgents to the Mexican army (First declaration of the Lacandon jungle). Then comes the recount of the first official reactions (“they are professionals of violence and their origin is foreign”). Before the popular protest in the capital of the country for the summary executions during the clashes (massacre in the market of Ocosingo, military aggressions to the press and the Red Cross), the government finally reaches the negotiation (talks in the Cathedral of San Cristóbal ), and what follows is a succession of key events: the caravan caravan episode, the Democratic National Convention, new dialogues between the EZLN and members of the Conai and the Cocopa, parallel development of a strategy of intimidation and harassment, a siege Persistent military, in contrast always with the proclaimed official will of dialogue. And an eloquent image, the verbal confrontation of peasants and a captured soldier (“you are like us, also indigenous, why are you a spy?”).

The second part also begins with an important episode: the celebration, in February 1996, of the agreements of San Andrés (brake on the military siege, demilitarization, liberation of the Zapatista prisoners), and the long chronicle of the Zedilloist breach. Faces of the displacement of indigenous populations harassed by paramilitary groups (Peace and Justice, Chinchulines, Red Mask, etc.) all linked to the official party. Acteal massacre and radicalization of an indigenous resistance with substantial female participation. In one of its most interesting segments, the video exposes the way in which the counterinsurgency special forces, coordinated by military commanders trained in the United States, operated from 1995 to 1997, and the official rhetoric that, in spite of the evidence of paramilitary terror, He continued to hold the indigenous people responsible for the death of other indigenous people in Acteal. The caravan to Mexico City in March 2001 and the controversial indigenous presence in the Legislative Palace follow.

Zapatistas, a chronicle of a rebellion, advances an interesting critical stance when illustrating the “betrayal” of the political class, when the right and left vote in the Senate the so-called indigenous law, with the virtual ignorance of the San Andrés agreements and their claim to autonomy.

Friday, March 1st