The Zapatista rebels made a historic journey to Mexico City this March in order to rally support and to make demands for indigenous rights in Mexico. An estimated 200,000 people came to Mexico City’s center square Sunday, March 11 to hear the demands of the 24 masked Zapatista delegates and to catch a glimpse of the famous rebel leader, subcomandante Marcos.
Central to the demands of the Zapatistas is the passing of the Cocopa law, which would mark constitutional recognition of indigenous rights and culture. During the week the Zapatistas continued to hold commissions discussing the Cocopa legislation and lobbying Congress for the passage of a major Indian rights law.
Students, intellectuals, housewives, workers, journalists, indigenous delegates, farmers from Mexico’s countryside, and international observers all gathered to savor the monumental message to support the Zapatista movement’s demands for the recognition of indigenous dignityâ€”recognition that could finally bring peace to Chiapas’s 7-year struggle and perhaps mark the beginning of an alleviation to the repression of the 10 million indigenous people in Mexico. Other demands include the completion of the "three signalsâ€