Zapatistas Law for Women

Araceli Herrera, photograph©1995. SCW©1999

Since January 1, 1994 the Zapatistas of Chiapas, Mexico have been fighting resolutely on two fronts: first, to protect themselves from the intimidation and terrorism of the occupying Mexican Army; and second, to create, in the midst of war, the social, economic, and human rights reforms for which the EZLN was formed. The EZLN has created momentous social change since its insurgence. One example is the inclusion by the Clandestine Revolutionary Indigenous Committee (CCRI), of the ten laws presented above in what would later become the "Revolutionary Laws." These ten laws are the result of months of discussion with hundreds of women in dozens of communities. Organized by Tzotzil leader Suzanna, these discussions were the first opportunity for indigenous women to have their thoughts not only heard but subsequently included in the laws of the new society being created. Adopted in March 1993, ten months before the "official" first EZLN uprising, CCRI observers have in fond humor called the adoption, "the first Zapatista uprising." (IWD)