|The Zapatista rebel leader Subcommander Marcos in 2006|
“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.
|San Cristóbal de las Casas in the central Chiapas highlands.|