Wednesday, January 6, 2010

On January 6

On this day in ...
... 2006, the woman known publicly only as Comandante Ramona (below right) died from kidney disease in Chiapas, the highland state of Mexico for whose independence she had fought. Born in 1959, she drafted a Revolutionary Law on Women in 1993, and a year later drew global attention. London's Independent wrote of this indigenous woman:

[I]t was Ramona who led the rebels into the town of San Cristóbal de las Casas on New Year's Day 1994, demanding greater rights for the indigenous people of Chiapas and protesting at Mexico's involvement in the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta) which came into force that day.

Thus began a rebellion that "effectively ended after 12 days of fighting, in which around 150 people died." Then Ramona initiated peace talks. In subsequent years she, her subcomandante, Marcos, and their Zapatista organization would remain "a powerful lobby group." Dolls were made of her, and she attained prominence particularly among Chiapas' women:

'Es una mujer de mucha enagua,' they would say. She's a woman with a lot of petticoat, equivalent to saying a man has a lot of cojones.

(Prior January 6 posts are here and here.)

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