Compañeras: Zapatista Women’s Stories by Hilary Klein

By Hilary Klein

Compañeras is the untold tale of women's involvement within the Zapatista move, the indigenous uprising that has encouraged grassroots activists worldwide for over twenty years. accumulated listed here are the tales of grandmothers, moms, and daughters who grew to become guerilla insurgents and political leaders, educators and healers—who labored jointly to build a brand new society of dignity and justice. Compañeras exhibits us how, after centuries of oppression, a number of voices of dissent grew to become a strength of millions, how a lady as soon as restrained to her kitchen rose to behavior peace negotiations with the Mexican executive, and the way hundreds of thousands of girls overcame ingrained hardships to bolster their groups from inside of.

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Women civic leaders--Mexico-- Chiapas. 3. Indigenous women--Mexico--Chiapas. 4. Women’s rights- -Mexico--Chiapas. 5. Chiapas (Mexico)--History--Peasant Uprising, 1994- I. Title. 3’4097275--dc23 2014045871 Printed in the United States 987654321 Compañeras is dedicated first and foremost to the Zapatista women whose stories of courage and dignity grace the pages of this book. And, as Zapatista women think of their past and future in terms of their mothers and daughters, this book is lovingly dedicated to my mother, Kim Klein, and my niece, June Imelda Shepard Klein.

Until the Mexican Constitution was amended in 1992, ejidal lands could not be divided or sold. Although many ejidos are made up of poor-quality land and their residents continued to confront difficult living conditions, by establishing independence from the fincas, these communities were able to develop a higher level of social cohesion. For example, Morelia and La Garrucha, two of the five villages that now serve as municipal centers of Zapatista territory, were formed as ejidos in 1945 and 1954, respectively.

Fearing land reform during and after the Cárdenas era, Finqueros (owners of the fincas) often gave some of their poorest-quality land to the indigenous laborers, hoping to ward off more drastic land distribution. Even though they now had title to their own land, the peasants who lived on the rancherías were usually forced by economic necessity to sell their labor to the finqueros for a pittance. Victoria, who grew up on a ranchería, is now a well-known Zapatista comandanta. She asked me to use a different name for her and not to disclose any of her personal details.

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