'Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization.' -- Eugene V. Debs

Monday, January 09, 2006

RIP Comandante Ramona 

Via DemLeft, I learned that Comandante Ramona died of cancer on Friday. Besides Marcos she is perhaps the most well-known Zapatista: (from Reuters)

A Maya Indian rebel leader and women's rights champion who became a Mexican heroine to anti-globalization activists died Friday after a battle against cancer, Zapatista chief Subcomandante Marcos said.

Comandante Ramona, a diminutive Tzotzil Maya woman and the first Zapatista rebel to appear publicly in Mexico City after a brief but bloody 1994 uprising, died on the way to hospital in the southern state of Chiapas, said the masked rebel leader.

"Mexico has lost one of those fighters that matter, and a piece of our hearts has been ripped out," Marcos told supporters during a speech in Chiapas. [...]

Always seen in the black ski mask worn by Zapatista leaders to protect their identity, Ramona was one of the main promoters of women's rights in the rebel group, which has ditched armed struggle in favor of political activism. [...]

Ramona won the hearts of many Mexicans after media showed fellow Zapatista commanders towering above her during a first round of peace talks with the government in February 1994.

Here is Ramona's statement at the Permanent National Indigenous Congress in Mexico City in 1996.

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