Saturday, June 16, 2007

Hibernation in Chiapas

Here I am, taking recluse in San Cristobal de Las Casas. Seat of the 1994 Zapatista uprising.
Giving thanks for everything that has come my way - a wonderful exchange in mexico city, fantastic experiences. Gaining strength for everything to come. Whether I start at Amnesty International doing an internship as planned, or win another position that I have applied for...whatever happens. Here I am, hiding away from the world that in the next couple of weeks will leap forward and grab a hold of everything that I have been working towards. Weeks and weeks of interviews, investigation and looking 'forward'. Now, a pause in the proceedings. It is wonderful to spend a few days appreciating the beauty of things around me, only to know that waiting at home is a life that I can sink my teeth into.

Here I have posted some of the interesting grafitti in SCLC.
Translation -
'La Lucha es diara!' - 'The struggle is daily'
'Nuestros sueños no caben en sus urnos' - 'Our dreams don't fit in your ballot boxes'. Wow. This last quote blew me away. After the 1994 uprising and a lot of rancor between the Zapatistas and the army, (as well as considerable public outrage) - the government negotiated a series of accords to recognise indigenous rights. To cut a long a notorious killing of innnocent civilians and a flip'flopping in approaches... in 2001 the parliament finally voted indigenous clauses in the constitution. But what could have been great strides building on the San Andres accords turned out to be lightweight provisions that did not allow for autonomy, concrete measures for protecting indigenous resources etc. This vote was supported by all parties, including the left party, PRD. So many of those in the Zapatista movement felt betrayed by the whole political class of mexico. and thus their dreams dont fit in the ballot boxes.
This is also why many people say that since 2001, the 'left' in mexico has died.

When I arrived in San Cristobal last night, the light and fresh air in the mountains swept right into my throat so that I welled up with a deep gratefulness. It's like you're carried away from the clanging pulse of DF, and dropped into a safe cradle here in the mountains. The smell of pine needles shot me straight into feeling I was in guatemala again. The highlands always make me pensive, quiet, reflective, humble. A perfect place to read - all the human rights policy that I need to get on top of, and finally paying my homage and finishing 100 yrs of solitude. And other pieces of writing by Julio. my new love. more to come on that, but I feel so lucky right now that spurting out crass declarations hardly feels apt. I think I have blabbed to enough sources anyway!

1 comment:

Tammie said...

hey maddie, I love your photos! Any word from amensty? fingers crossed for you and any of the other jobs you applied for also congrats on finishing your degree, You would love the new flatties, really friendly and sociable, so the house has a real happy vibe once again. Whats your address over there is it the same one as mary and jesus one? Anyway its a beautiful clear crisp winters day here in sydney, thinking of you!! t xxx