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Understanding Anti-Zapatista Violence
There is a lot of confusion surrounding violent events in Chiapas. In the following article, Peter Rosset gives us a short guide on how to respond to questions such as: “Are indigenous communities violent?” and “Are the Zapatistas violent?”
The counterinsurgency campaign in Chiapas is based partly on the implementation of government policies which are designed to fragment peasant, indigenous, and community organisations – creating smaller and smaller factions which are increasingly sectarian, opportunistic, and manipulable. This fragmentation is achieved by offering local and regional leaders resources for aid or production projects, political candidatures, or jobs in the public sector. In this way, the fundamental necessities of these groups are exploited, along with their personal aspirations, grudges, and jealousy.
The explicit or implicit condition for these political hand-outs, however, is that these groups distance themselves from Zapatismo. The aim of the powerful is to isolate…
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