Marcos, Subcomandante


Marcos, Subcomandante
▪ 1996

      On Feb. 9, 1995, Mexico's Pres. Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de León broke a cease-fire and ordered thousands of Mexican troops into the area of Chiapas state held by the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN), the group that had launched a rebellion on New Year's Day 1994 to demand indigenous rights and greater democracy, liberty, and justice. The stated purpose of the crackdown was to prevent further violence by capturing Zapatista leaders, in particular Subcomandante Marcos, their eloquent but elusive spokesperson. As part of the offensive, Zedillo unmasked Marcos as Rafael Sebastián Guillén Vicente, a middle-class "maverick philosopher and university professor," in an attempt to discredit him as the voice of the peasant-led EZLN and to strip him of the charismatic guerrilla mystique that had captured the imagination of many. Pictures of Guillén juxtaposed with those of the masked Marcos appeared worldwide. One of the EZLN's few non-Indian fighters, Marcos had become internationally known for his literate communiqués, issued in the name of the Revolutionary Indigenous Clandestine Committee of the General Command (CCRI-CG) of the EZLN. These letters to the Mexican people often combined humour, poetry, and storytelling with sharp political critiques.

      Marcos, the EZLN, and the population of many villages faded into the Lacandón jungle as troops moved into the area, while the press was kept out. Meanwhile, more than 100,000 demonstrators in Mexico City and elsewhere answered Zedillo by proclaiming, "We are all Marcos." The government move to isolate the rebels politically thus met with limited success. The military push and reported abuse of civilians galvanized the support of students, union leaders, human rights advocates, and leftists outside Chiapas. While Zedillo proclaimed Marcos a terrorist, the National Autonomous University awarded him Mexico's highest honour—an honorary degree. By mid-March the troops had been pulled out of the area, and peace talks limped along. Marcos continued to communicate via the Internet from the rain forest. In October he emerged to participate in talks, doing so with his usual dramatic flair—on horseback with armed, masked Zapatistas to the sounds of conch shells blowing and a cheering crowd of peasants.

      Guillén, the man Zedillo identified as Marcos, was the Jesuit-trained 37-year-old son of the owner of a furniture chain in Tampico who had moved to the mountains of Chiapas in 1984 to work with Mayan peasants. After going to school in Tampico, Guadalajara (Jalisco), and Monterrey, Guillén attended the national university in Mexico City. In 1981 he was one of five students from the department of philosophy and letters to receive a national medal of excellence from Pres. José López Portillo. He taught aesthetics part-time at a working-class school known as a left-wing activist centre before resigning in 1984. As his mother said, "[For some he] is a delinquent, and for many others, he's a hero."

      (ELLEN FINKELSTEIN)

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Subcomandante Marcos — Subcomandante Años de servicio 1994 …   Wikipedia Español

  • Subcomandante Marcos — wearing his black balaclava while smoking his usual pipe. Other …   Wikipedia

  • Subcomandante Marcos — (links) mit Comandante Tacho in Chiapas (1999) Subcomandante Marcos (* 1957) oder auch Delegado Zero ist das Pseudonym eines mexikanischen Revolutionärs und Autors. Er bezeichnet sich selbst als das Sprachrohr der EZLN (Zapatistische Armee der… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos — Subcomandante Marcos (links) mit Comandante Tacho in Chiapas (1999) Subcomandante Marcos oder auch Delegado Zero ist das Pseudonym eines mexikanischen Revolutionärs und Autors. Er bezeichnet sich selbst als das Sprachrohr der EZLN (Zapatistische… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Marcos Rafael Guillen — Subcomandante Marcos (links) mit Comandante Tacho in Chiapas (1999) Subcomandante Marcos oder auch Delegado Zero ist das Pseudonym eines mexikanischen Revolutionärs und Autors. Er bezeichnet sich selbst als das Sprachrohr der EZLN (Zapatistische… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Marcos Rafael Guillén — Subcomandante Marcos (links) mit Comandante Tacho in Chiapas (1999) Subcomandante Marcos oder auch Delegado Zero ist das Pseudonym eines mexikanischen Revolutionärs und Autors. Er bezeichnet sich selbst als das Sprachrohr der EZLN (Zapatistische… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Marcos — may refer to: Contents 1 People with the given name Marcos 2 Sports 3 Politics …   Wikipedia

  • Marcos — ist eine Variante des männlichen Vornamens Markus bzw. Marcus. Marcos ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Alberto Marcos Rey (* 1974), spanischer Fußballspieler Asier Antonio Marcos (* 1979), spanischer Handballspieler Cristina Marcos (*… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Marcos (desambiguación) — Marcos puede referirse a: Contenido 1 Nombre 1.1 Personas 1.2 Otros 2 Véase también Nombre …   Wikipedia Español

  • Marcos Angeleri — Personal information Full name Marcos Alberto Angeleri Date of birth 7 April 1983 ( …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.