There is an inverse relationship between reliance on the state and self-reliance.

- William F. Buckley, Jr.

Image: Al-Jazeera

The Zapatistas are a group of mostly indigenous activists from the southern Mexican state of Chiapas who organised a political movement, the Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional (Zapatista National Liberation Front, more commonly known as the EZLN), in 1983. They are known for their fight for land reform, advocacy for indigenous groups, and their ideology of anti-capitalism and anti-globalization, specifically the negative effects of policies like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) on indigenous communities. The Zapatistas initiated an armed rebellion in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, on January 1, 1994, from their base in Chiapas, the southernmost Mexican state, to protest economic policies that they believed would negatively affect Mexico’s indigenous population. The insurgency later developed into a political movement that advocated for Mexico’s disenfranchised natives. The Zapatistas eventually shifted away from armed combat toward peaceful political action.