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The Sights and Voices of Dispossession: The Fight for the Land and the Emerging Culture of the MST (The Movement of the Landless Rural Workers of Brazil)


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Studies, statements & references -> Glossary 77 resources (Compiled by Else R P Vieira. Translation © Thomas Burns.)

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Chiapas, Popular Rising of

'On January 1, 1994, the world was surprised by a popular rising in the poorest state of México, in the south of the country - Chiapas, whose population is mostly indigenous and peasant ... The indigenous revolt in Chiapas became an expression of resistance to policies that raised urban unemployment to 29.5% of the working population, and the foreign debt to $175 billion, the highest in the world. One of the leaders of the EZLN, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation, sub-commandant Marcos, said: ‘What triggered Chiapas was the lack of land … We want change. We want a revolution, a new life, a society with less injustice … We zapatistas see ourselves as a symptom of something greater and more general, which is taking place on all continents, where many say or would like to say: enough! We no longer accept this world, we want another, better one, where everyone can be happy and when that does not mean the unhappiness of the other' (Calendário Histórico dos Trabalhadores. São Paulo: MST, Setor de Educação. 3a. edição, 1999, pp. 15-16).


November 2002

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