Article: Celebrating 22 Years of Zapatismo | OpEdNews: Jan. 1 marks the 22nd anniversary of the Zapatista uprising and more than 30 years since the formation of the Ejercito Zapatista de Liberación Nacional (Zapatista Army of National Liberation, EZLN).
On January 1, 1994, the EZLN captured the world's imagination when it rose up to demand justice and democracy for the indigenous peasants of southern Mexico. Since that brief armed insurrection, the EZLN has become known more for its peaceful mobilizations, dialogue with civil society, and structures of political, economic, and cultural autonomy. Over the past three decades, the Zapatista movement has won significant changes in its own territory and has inspired other social movements in Mexico and around the world, offering a number of key lessons that are still relevant today.
The date of the Zapatista uprising was chosen for its symbolic importance -- as it was the day the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) went into effect. The EZLN was one of the first popular movements to recognize neoliberalism as a menacing new stage of global capitalism and called NAFTA a death sentence for the indigenous peasants of Mexico.
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