April 29, 2001 |
The Mexican Congress on Saturday overwhelmingly approved broad constitutional reforms granting autonomy and other rights to millions of indigenous people, although last-minute changes to the measure raised doubts that it will satisfy Indian rebels in Chiapas state. The lower Chamber of Deputies voted 386 to 60 in favor of the reform package three days after the Senate unanimously approved the bill.
March 29, 2001 |
Masked Zapatista rebels took the floor of Mexico's Congress on Wednesday to argue for an Indian rights bill, a historic appearance that raised hopes for an end to their seven-year conflict with the government. Two dozen Zapatistas, unarmed and wearing their trademark ski masks, filed past congressional deputies and took seats in two rows directly in front of the speaker's lectern.
March 27, 2001 |
Even though the negotiators managed to reach a last-minute agreement to continue their talks, no one involved with this week's planned meeting between Zapatista rebels and Mexican legislators is under any illusion about the difficulty of the road ahead. Details of how the negotiations for an Indian rights law will proceed, who will represent the two sides and the timetable for an accord are unknown, and could present serious sticking points.
March 4, 2001 |
Thousands of Indians, students and foreign leftists opened a National Indigenous Congress in Nurio, a village in Michoacan state, calling for passage of an Indian rights bill they believe would bring respect to those whose ancestors once ruled what is now Mexico. Indians are united in their belief that the accord would help them preserve their cultures, languages and land.
February 26, 2001 |
Seven years after he and his ragtag band of Maya Indians seized this placid colonial city in an armed rebellion that stunned the world, Subcommander Marcos was back, armed this time not with a gun but with a speech. In that moment this weekend, the Zapatista rebels' struggle for indigenous rights shifted from a military theater where the guerrillas had no prospect of victory to a political stage--one where they may well be capable of challenging the new national government as agents for change.
February 23, 2001 |
High in the Sierra Madre mountains of Oaxaca, a simple village is practicing the kind of autonomy that could change the future for millions of indigenous people throughout Mexico. The mayor was chosen not by secret ballot, the way of Western democracies, but by village assembly, the traditional method of the Zapotec Indians. He presides over a centuries-old system that provides basic services, maintains customs and resolves disputes for the village's 1,200 people.