The Zapatistas: Background information when reading The New Earth

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The New Earth

A Novel

by Jess Row

The New Earth by Jess Row X
The New Earth by Jess Row
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  • Published:
    Mar 2023, 592 pages


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Book Reviewed by:
Chloe Pfeiffer
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The Zapatistas

This article relates to The New Earth

Nighttime photograph of graffiti on a wall reading 'LOS ZAPATISTAS VIVEN' (The Zapatistas live) in black all-caps lettering, with lights in courtyard visible in background to the right In Jess Row's novel The New Earth, the character Zeno's mother was a Zapatista in Chiapas, the southernmost state in Mexico, where she was killed. The Zapatistas are an indigenous peasant movement from Chiapas named for the Mexican Revolution leader Emiliano Zapata. They formed in 1983, organized secretly for 10 years, and then gained worldwide recognition in 1994, when they incited a rebellion against the government. The resistance movement still exists today and remains proudly undefeated by the state.

Mexico has the largest indigenous population in Latin America, and Chiapas is over one-quarter indigenous. Indigenous people have historically been excluded from basic services such as education and healthcare there; and although Chiapas is one of the wealthiest states in Mexico in terms of natural resources (including 30% of Mexico's fresh water supply), it has the highest poverty rates of all of the country's 32 states. The Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), an ...

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