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(en) Emiliano Zapata: one hundred years of the man who was a myth on Mexican soil By ANA (pt) [machine translation]

Date Sun, 14 Apr 2019 08:54:50 +0300


April 10 marks the centenary of the murder of Emiliano Zapata, one of the most prominent peasants and guerrillas of the Mexican Revolution (1910-1917), a symbol of rural and indigenous resistance in this country. Integrated into the revolutionary movement, he led the Southern Liberation Army and was the driving force of social struggles and agrarian demands. This revolutionary group of Emiliano Zapata, together with the Mexican Liberal Party, founded by the Flores Magón brothers, with clear anarchist influences, were the two social entities during the revolutionary period in Mexico and defended the communal property of the land and respect to the indigenous communities, peasants and workers of Mexico, against the oligarchy and the latifundio of the owners of the Porfiriato, Mexican political dictatorial regime around the figure of Porfirio Diaz.

Emiliano Zapata, along with Pancho Villa, commander of the Northern Division in the Mexican Revolution, were excluded from the Constitutional Congress of 1917, and even if they were tactical winners of the struggle, they would be the political leaders of the conservative or reactionary factions that imposed the political triumph in the revolutionary process , that is, we can say that those who won were the counterrevolution, ideological germ of the future PRI that remained for more than seven decades in power in Mexico.

Zapata was born to a peasant family in Anenecuilco, a small village in the south-central state of Morelos, living from childhood on the injustices that promoted landowners against the humble peasant families who had been imprisoned with impunity. He was orphaned at the age of fifteen, working as a tropeiro and a farmer since he was a teenager, having to flee his hometown in 1897 after being repressed, imprisoned and released with a gun by one of his brothers, Eufeminio Zapata.

In 1906 he attended a peasants' meeting in Cuautla to discuss how to defend their lands against the large landowners in neighboring areas. His rebellion condemned him to forced recruitment in the Federal Army during 1908, and in September 1909, Emiliano Zapata was elected leader of the Anenecuilco Land Defense Board, where he would begin to analyze the documents that originated in the Viceroyalty and believed rights of property of the peoples on their lands, which had been denied by the Reform Laws of the mid-nineteenth century when it was a question of constituting a middle-class peasantry and in tune with the new liberal economy.

Because of a dispute in their village with the farm of the Hospital, the farmers could not sow this land until the court decided. However, in 1910 Emiliano Zapata and other trusted men occupied communal lands to be worked by peasants. After being declared a bandit and had to flee repeatedly from the government, the Mexican situation was approaching an armed struggle against the dictator Porfirio Diaz. His political opponent, Francisco Madero, had been persecuted and forced into exile before running for election, trying to perpetuate Diaz again in power, prompting the armed uprising. At the beginning of the Mexican Revolution in 1910, Emiliano Zapata leads the seizure of land and the liberation of many villages, such as that of Cuautla in May 1911 and becomes the leader of the Southern Liberation Army.

Meanwhile, it turns out that bourgeois politicians like Francisco Madero only aspire to a change of power without any pretension of social transformation, so that the Pact of Ayala is signed with a strong revolutionary content. During the Maderista government land grabbing by the peasants and Zapata's actions were quickly suppressed, and the government controlled the cities as the guerrillas strengthened in rural areas. But neither the repressive brutality and reformist gestures aimed at diminishing support weakened the Zapatista movement, which remained in war against the military dictatorship of Victoriano Huerta (1914) and against the constitutionalist Venustiano Carranza (1916) in later years in a war of guerrillas

The photograph of Pancho Villa and Zapata at the Presidential Palace in Mexico City is well known, a symbol of his entry into the political heart of the country, but Zapata's goal was not to occupy a presidential seat, only the social and agrarian revolution. Given the impossibility of ending the Zapata movement, they set a trap: making him believe that Pablo Gonzalez, a faithful Carrancista, would come to his side and give them ammunition and supplies, Colonel Jesus Guajardo, who directed government operations against him, managed to lure Zapata to a secret meeting at the Chinameca farm in Morelos. When Zapata, accompanied by ten men, entered the ranch, soldiers who pretended to present him arms fired at point-blank range. The man died, but the myth continued.

Source: https://www.todoporhacer.org/emiliano-zapata/

Translation> Liberto

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