On January the 1st, 1994, the very same day NAFTA (North America Free Trade Agreement) would come into force in Mexico, Chiapas, a Mexican State, awoke.
This state has a history of being the cradle of precolombinan multiculturalism, with more than 1.4 million indigenous inhabitants, divided into 10 main ethnic groups:Tzeltales, Tzotziles, Choles, Lacandones, Zoques, Tojolabales, Mames, Chujes, Cackchiquéles and Mochos.
On this date, the EZLN (Zapatista Army for National Liberation) rose up as rebels with the First Declaration of the Lacandona Jungle (a document that was released into the public domain in December 1993), available thru this link:
As this document states, the original idea was to overthrow the government of President Carlos Salinas, known as a “neoliberal”, march towards Mexico City, defeating the Federal Armed Forces, and calls upon the legislative and the judiciary to “reinstate the Rule of Law and stability in the Nation, deposing the dictator”.
This demands where founded in Article 39 of the Mexican Constitution, which states that “the origin of Sovereign Rule relies originally on the People, who have, and have had, the power and legitimacy to determine the course of the Nation”.
In addition, this document claimed for international help from the Red Cross and other NGO´s in the indigenous cause. This claims appeared to be legitimate...
On January the 1st, 1994, the EZLN started its warfare activity by taking the population of San Cristobal de las Casas, just a few hours away from the State Capital, and some other municipalities. By January the 4th, the Federal Army had recovered most of the rebel territories that had been taken.
Following those days, the movement was associated with the radical political left wing, who then took the streets demanding immediate cease of fire and the installing of a peace dialogue.
This events had a huge impact not only in the citizens conception of the composition of mexican society, but also in the internal and external markets.
Tomorrow, we will continue discussing this events.