The Zapatista Revolt Against NeoLiberalism Essays

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The Zapatista Revolt Against NeoLiberalism

In the 1630’s Mayans living in the northern part of Guatemala organized in a secretive village-by-village basis and mounted an attack against the Spanish colonial rule. They drove the Colonizers out of the area and it took almost fifty years for the Spanish to reclaim it [i] . Over 350 years later the Mexican government woke up on January 1st 1994 to news of an indigenous guerilla uprising in the southern part of Mexico. Mayans had been secretly organizing, much in the same way as the 1630 revolt, and had formed the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN). This new Zapatista movement took its name from Emilio Zapata, a famous champion of indigenous rights. On January first, the day of
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It will then analyze the Zapatista rebellion as a revolt against the neoliberalist order and examine its effectiveness. In a general since the Zapatista rebellion has roots in 500 years of imperialism and destruction of indigenous peoples in Mexico. Since the Spanish first arrived to the present day, the situation for the Mexican Indians has been getting worse. However, there is a reason the uprising occurred when it did and that has to do with increasing domination of global corporate capitalism and the neoliberalist system. The Zapatista uprising, on new years day, was set to coincide with the implementation of the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The Zapatistas declared that NAFTA was the death sentence for the indigenous people of Mexico and cried out “Ya Basta!” or enough is enough [iii] . The “free trade” policies enacted by President Carlos in order to help clear the way for NAFTA had already reduced 40% of the purchasing power of the Mexican poor [iv] . Undoubtedly, without the uprising many of the native people would have had their land sold off to corporations.

NAFTA was a trade agreement between the United States, Mexico and Canada. It was based on previous trade agreements, the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Canada and the United States in particular. NAFTA was meant to consolidate all of North America into one large trading bloc by eliminated tariffs and

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