Running head: Book Report: Our Word is our Weapon Date: Summary The book “Our Word is our Weapon” portrays the political events that took place in 1994-1998 following the uprising of the Zapatista revolution a native guerrilla group that rose up to rebel against the Mexican government over injustices and prejudices subjected to the native people…
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The entire book depicts the adamant behavior of the native communities rebelling against the government. The “Zapatistas” articulate their desire for human respect, civil liberties and the need for democracy in Mexico. The book portrays the political desires of the local communities advocating for the end of dictatorship to pave way for true democracy in Mexico. Contrary to beliefs that being a guerrilla movement they needed to employ the use of force the Zapatistas believe that use of dialogue as clearly expressed by their leader Subcomandante Marcos would result in positive results. Subcomandante Marcos is portrayed as the spokesman of the group whereby he voices the grievances of the group in addition to his role as military commander. The Zapatistas revolution resulted in the capture of major states in the Southern part of Mexico in Chiapas. The ideas and principles expressed by the guerrilla group EZLN ensures unity between the different groups within the group. The book politically examines the future of the indigenous communities in Mexico and how the government has completely neglected them resulting to them living in abject poverty. In subtle the central theme is the fight for democracy, justice and liberty in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas, which is seen as the symbol for the struggle against all kinds of social prejudices, discrimination and repression globally (Marcos 1-182) The key players in the book include the Zapatistas group (EZLN) led by their spokesman Marcos, the indigenous communities in Mexico that the group represents whose rights had been violated by the corrupt Mexican government and the Mexican government. Chiapas a remote secluded state was characterized by a wide gap between the rich and poor. This condition was necessitated by the authoritarian system of governance that protected the high class and privileged landowners on the expense of the less privileged native people who wanted justice to prevail and respect for human dignity. Looking back Mexico and Chiapas were set for social net-war in the early 1990s. Conventional ethnic classes and hierarchical patterns of behavior characterised the political structure and system of governance in Mexico. The author utilizes the use of testimonial approach to express the ideas and words of the native communities. The EZLN group involves the foreign international and local NGOs that claim to represent the civil society to imply that they unlike the previous revolutionary groups they are advocating for the rights of the minority in a peaceful manner so as to gain international support. It is very clear that the Zapatistas group understood that without the involvement of the civil society their revolution would result in riots and political upheavals that could result in their defeat considering the fact that they were not well equipped. In addition they knew that the use of force would mean that they were not different from the previous revolts and therefore their actions would not be accepted both nationally and globally. This is evident in the manner in which the author tells the story by employing the use of direct narration and eyewitness to articulate that they had the political right to advocate for democracy. In many ways, the Zapatista Army of
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The author is himself unknown except for his adopted title Subcomandante and his adopted name Marcos. Little is known about the author except that he hails from an urban background and resides in the poor Chiapas region of Mexico that is inhabited largely by the ethnic Mayans.
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