Kenyon College

Changing Strategies for the Zapatistas


Historically, the Zapatista movement (formally known as Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional, or EZLN) has refrained from endorsing any political candidate, maintaining instead that no solutions could come from those government officials who created the problems they fight against. Yet, this stance has undergone a surprising reversal as Subcomandante Galeano announced in December of 2016 that the EZLN would forward their own presidential candidate in the 2018 national elections. Not only that, they stated that the individual would be an indigenous woman selected by committee. News of this possible Zapatista Presidential Candidate has been met with skepticism as many question the motives behind such a swift reversal of what was a fundamental aspect of the movement. As of yet, the name of the first Zapatista endorsed political candidate has not been released.

News coverage of the announcement and the subsequent meeting of the new National Indigenous Congress is sparse, but you can read a few short reports below.

U.S. News & World Report – Mexico’s Zapatista rebels to field a presidential candidate. –

Telesur Zapatistas – Meet to Elect First Indigenous Presidential Candidate. –


Image above: Photograph of the EZLN flag by Lucha – photo shot with a camera by Lucha, CC BY-SA 3.0,