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Footnotes and References

Chicano Artists and Zapatistas Walk Together
Asking, Listening, Learning:

The Role of Transnational Informal Learning Networks
In the Creation of A Better World

by Roberto Gonzaléz Flores
Los Angeles, California


1. Comité Clandestino del EZLN, (1993, Dec. 31), Primera Declaración de la Selva Lancandoa, [On Line] available: <>

2. Sonia Alvarez includes in her framework developed during her study of women’s movements in Brazil.

3. Although the formal system at times exhibits the study and reflection of emancipatory struggle, such as the cases of Chican@ Studies, Women’s Studies, Labor Studies, etc., neoliberal policies exhibit more intolerance to self-critique. Although the formal academy is full of courageous scholars involved in the reflection of grassroots struggles, they are under-going pressure from market imperatives to “tone down their political critique.”

4. In 1996, the Zapatistas initiated the first of several intercontinental encuentros against neoliberalism and for humanity. Over 3,000 grassroots activists, from over 40 countries responded (Notes from November, 2003). Braving the military encirclement of over 60,000 Mexican troops, ubiquitous military check points, known dangers of paramilitary attacks and bad weather, they all converged in the La Realidad, deep in the Lancandon Jungle. About 80 Chicanos attended that first intercontinental conference, whose objective was to share and learn from each other’s struggle in this era of globalized oppression (Notes from November, 2003). Since then there have been several other Intercontinental Conferences including the Encuentro Chican@ -Zapatista in August of 1997, in which, over 120, mostly, Los Angeles based artists, participated.

5. One of the main slogans of the villagers from San Salvador, Atenco, Mexico, situated in the municipality of Texcoco, who successfully defeated a federal, eminent domain decree (2001) to develop an international airport on their land near Mexico City was “Nunca Más Una Lucha Aislada,” (never more an isolated struggle) (Flores, unpublished Interview, 2002). According to their account, the intervention and solidarity of national and international civil society was key to their victory. In this sense, given its intersubjective, interdependent, and inclusive nature, the network also functions as an incubator politically supporting and protecting the strategic autonomy of all local struggles.

6. See Siete Palabras, Can be found at

7. See Jose Gil Olmos, La Jornada, Dec. 2, 1997, “CIHMA: operan en el país 14 organizaciones guerrilleras.” El Centro de Investigaciones Históricas de los Movimientos Armados (CIHMA) informó que existen en el país al menos 14 organizaciones que actúan en igual número de estados. (There are 14 armed guerilla organizations that operate in the country. The Center of Historic Research of Armed Movements (CIHMA) inform that there exists at least that act in as many states.)

8. Approximately, ten million of Mexico's 93 million people are indigenous. Ninety percent of the other 83 million are of mixed descent.

9. See: Segunda Declaración de la Selva Lancandona (June, 1994). This Declaration was issued shortly before the Congreso Nacional Democrático at which it was decided by civil society there that armed struggle was not the solution and should be averted and that the Zapatista army would be utilized in strictly a self-defensive manner.

10. Zapatismo is keenly aware of the limitations of state reform, and of the central pit-fall of reformism: relying on reforming a corrupt system. Zapatistas consider a reform centered strategy to be ineffectual because true and profound structural changes go contrary to a system, which revolves around the exploitation and oppression to survive (CCRI, 1996).

11. This is possibly due to the socio-economic “Mexican” treatment of many of the non-Mexican Latinos working class who fall and fit right into the particular historic mold of oppression shaped around the specific economic exploitation and racist treatment of people from Mexico (Garcia, 1997). It is popular belief in the barrio that, many non-Latinos, particularly white administrative sector, can tell no difference between Salvadoreños, Guatemaltecos, and Mexicanos. In the barrio it’s common to hear the cliché: “to a white cop patrolling the barrio we’re all meskins.”

12. See “The Hispanic Population in the US.” A census report prepared by Roberto R. Ramirez and Melissa Therrien.

13. See 550 years of Chicano History.

14. See Center for Strategic and International Studies Website -- more on Global Migration push and pull factors, can be found at

15. Supporting this assertion, Vigil (1998) explains that the word “Chicano” comes from the Indian pronunciation of the abbreviation of Mexicano or Xicano.

16. Perhaps this is related to recent explosion in Southern California of indigenous dance groups, perhaps more numerous in Los Angeles alone than in all of Mexico. The previous proliferation of baile folklóricos and mariachi groups in the Southwest during the last 30 years can also be seen as a testament to the shift. This is also an indicator to me that within this general effort to resist oppression there is a deeper level of resistance that is growing, one that emphasizes the indigenous and black heritage.

17. See Chiapas: The Southeast in Two Winds-A Storm and a Prophecy. Written in 1992 but not published until January 1, 1994. Can be found at

18. See website Study for the Center of Political Graphics. Can be found at

19. I do not identify CX by name because she has requested caution from persons doing academic work that can be abused by United Stated government agencies within which there exists elements that are anxious to identify the Zapatistas as an anti-United States military force, perhaps even (at one point in the future) as terrorists.


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Published in In Motion Magazine August 15, 2008.

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