On January 1, 1994, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) launched a surprise attack on numerous towns in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas, sparking the Chiapas Uprising, also known as the Zapatista Rebellion. The mysterious Subcomandante Marcos led the Zapatistas in their fight for land rights, social justice, and democracy on behalf of indigenous communities and peasants.
Economic disparity, land loss, and political negligence over many years sparked the uprising. The Zapatistas were fiercely opposed to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) because of its potential to worsen inequality, and their insurrection was timed to coincide with NAFTA’s implementation.
The Zapatistas gained international attention and sparked discussions on indigenous rights, neoliberalism, and social movements despite the fact that a truce was established soon after the initial outbreak. The Chiapas Uprising is still a pivotal event that highlights the persistence of social inequality and the fights for justice in Mexico, despite ongoing dialogues and changes.