Volume XXXII – Number 1

Scott Lauf

Abstract: On New Year’s Day, 1994, in the Mexican state of Chiapas, the Zapatista National Liberation Front (EZLN) carried out an uprising against the Mexican government with the intent of eliciting the sympathies and inciting rebellion among indigenous populations throughout the region.  The Mayan Indians of Chiapas, the indigenous group from which the EZLN was largely drawn of, have a history rife with conflict between themselves and the Mexican State government. Branding themselves as Post-Cold War era Fourth World Revolutionaries, but branded as terrorists by the Mexican government, the EZLN utilized guerrilla tactics to fight a state government that they saw as repressive. Despite their attempts to separate themselves from other Latin American revolutionary groups, both past, and present, an analysis of their motives and tactics signifies otherwise. Tactics such as kidnapping, guerrilla warfare, and terrorist acts such as planning and executing bombings, all exemplify the conclusion that the EZLN is not leading a Fourth World Revolution of indigenous people in Latin America. Rather, the EZLN is a typical Cold War Era revolutionary group and, in order for the Mexican state to aptly resolve the conflict, must be explicitly recognized as such.


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