Wednesday, September 6, 2017

#249 / Giving Politics A Try

The Zapatista rebel leader Subcommander Marcos in 2006
On Sunday, August 27, 2017, The New York Times ran an article titled, "In a Mexico 'Tired of Violence,' Rebels Give Politics a Try." Subcomandante Marcos, leader of the Zapatista revolution, is pictured above. He put it this way:                                                                                                                                                                  
“We choose life, not death. Instead of building barracks and improving our arsenal of weapons, we built schools, hospitals, and we improved our living conditions.” 
The Zapatistas were changing, and so was he. He changed his name to Subcommander Galeano, to honor a fallen comrade. [The story didn't provide any further explanation, but I'm betting he was honoring Eduardo Galeano, author of Las Venas Abiertas de America Latina, who is one of my personal heroes]. And he announced the death of the persona of Subcommander Marcos. There was no longer a need for it, he said, describing himself as “a suit made for the media.” 
In the following years, the Zapatista-controlled territories exercised de facto autonomy, delivering broad access to education and health services. Organized crime has been unable to penetrate the area.

A political science professor quoted in the Times' article, Jesús Silva-Herzog, says that "this shows the extent to which Mexicans are tired of violence."

Are we tired of violence?

Politics is the antidote to violence. That is, in fact, the major reason for its existence. 

Let's not forget it. Our cities should look like this: 

San Cristóbal de las Casas in the central Chiapas highlands.

Not this:

Kabul, Afghanistan

Image Credits:
(1) and (2) -
(3) -

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