The Community of Chiapas (Spanish: Comunidad de Chiapas) is a country located in North America. Bordered by the nations of the Holy American Empire, the Amerikanisches Reich, and Himynamistan. It occupies the former Mexican states of Sonora and Chihuahua. According to a 2010 Zapatista-sponsored census, 5,636,305 people hold residence in Chiapas.
In general Chiapas has a hot, dry climate and is covered mostly by desert. It's rainfall patterns are similar to that of the Arabian Peninsula, occasionally interrupted with the landfall of a hurricane from the Gulf of Mexico.
The archeological evidence suggests that the Chiapaneco area of Mesoamerica had permanent Paleo-Indian settlements as far back as 1500 BC. in the Sonoran Desert. The largest known indigenous cultures were of the Yaqui and the Mayo peoples. They flourished around AD 1300 and established settled agricultural communities. Both groups defended their communities and territories against nomadic tribes who traveled through their region. The Yaqui people inhabited the central part of Chiapas near Mar de Cortés. The Mayo tribe lived primarily in the southern part of the state and established an important cultural center in what is now the city of Guaymas.
Clovis points have been found that have been dated between 12000 BC to 7000 BC. It is thought that these inhabitants were hunter gatherers. Inhabitants of the state later developed farming with the domestication of corn. Archeological evidence known as Cerro Juanaqueña revealed squash cultivation, primitive irrigation techniques, and ceramic artifacts all dated around 2000 BC.
In 1531, Spanish conquistador Nuño Beltrán de Guzmán founded the city of San Miguel de Culiacán in the region that would eventually become Sinaloa and Sonora, Mexico. Using the city as a central base, the Spanish launched excursions throughout the area to locate mineral deposits and establish new colonies.
Conquistador Diego Guzmán entered what is now Sonora in 1533. Encountering resistance from combined Yaqui and Mayo forces, he quickly abandoned the region. In 1536, Spanish explorer Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca and three companions passed through the region on foot in search of new wealth for Spain.
In 1599, Captain Diego de Hurdaide established San Felipe y Santiago on the site of the modern city of Sinaloa and launched a military campaign that subjugated many indigenous tribes, including the Sinaloa, Tehueco, Zuaque, and Ahome people. In the 1687 the Jesuit missionaries, led by Father Eusebio Francisco Kino, arrived in the Pimería Alta (upper land of the Pimas) and were given the responsibility to establish the Spanish missions in the Sonoran Desert. The missions were to convert in reductions the indigenous residents to Roman Catholicism and encouraged the assimilation of Spanish culture. However, clashes between the Spanish and the Yaquí and other tribes continued throughout the 17th century.
Nueva Vizcaya was the first province of northern New Spain to be explored and settled by the Spanish. Around 1528, a group of Spaniard explorers, led by Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, first entered the actual territory of what is now eastern Chiapas. The conquest of the territory lasted nearly one century, and encountered fierce resistance from the Conchos Indians, but the desire of the Spanish Crown to transform the region into a bustling mining center led to a strong strategy to control the area.
In the second half of the 16th century, the Spaniards organized several expeditions into the north of Mexico to find the mythical Seven Golden Cities of Cibola, and in 1564, the conquistador, Lieutenant Rodrigo del Rio y Loza, found gold in the area when the Sierra ends, and founded the first Spanish city in the region, Santa Barbara, by bringing 400 European families to the settlement. Later, in 1631, Noah Carrasco de Biesma discovered a rich vein of silver, and subsequently established San Jose del Parral near the site. Parral remained an important economic and cultural center for the next 300 years.
Many other mining towns, missions and presidios were founded in the region. The Spanish society that developed in the region replaced the sparse population of indigenous peoples. The absence of servants and workers forged the spirit of northern people as self-dependent, creative people that defended their European heritage and made it survive until now.
In the late 20th century, indigenous peasant farmers felt that their poor and largely agricultural region had been too long ignored by the Mexican government. A chief complaint was that many indigenous farmers were required to pay absentee landlords, despite repeated government promises of agrarian reform. Article 27 of the Constitution of Mexico guaranteed indigenous peoples the right to an ejido or communal land. After the financial crisis of 1982, Mexico restructured its economy and de-prioritized land reform (long since completed in most of the country). The government of President Carlos Salinas de Gortari sought to liberalize Mexico’s closed economy. As part of this process, Mexico repealed the constitutional guarantee of communally owned ejidos for rural communities. As the North American Free Trade Agreement came into effect on in 1994, indigenous Chiapanecos felt increasingly left behind.
- Main article: War of National Liberation
Such disaffection led to the rise of the Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional (EZLN, Zapatista National Liberation Army, commonly called the Zapatistas), which began an armed rebellion against the federal government on January 1, 1994 as a response to the implementation of the NAFTA. Zapatista rebels are mostly Tzotzil and some Tzeltal Maya, from the central highlands of the state, and the group’s spokesman, the Sub-Comandante Marcos, gained it international attention. It marked the beginning of the 16-year long War of National Liberation
The group is named after Emiliano Zapata, iconic general in the Mexican Revolution of 1910, who is lionized for having defended the rights of poor farmers. Although the EZLN was in principle a peaceful movement forced to arms by the Mexican government, to guarantee the right to ejidos, there were a number of violent episodes in its history. The movement began in 1994 with the seizure of four cities (most notably San Cristóbal de las Casas), over 600 ranches, and control over about a quarter of the state.
After pushing the Zapatistas out of San Cristóbal, the Mexican army kept them bottled up in their jungle strongholds, cutting them off economically and politically. The Mexican government installed a solidarity program which while "ostensibly designed to alleviate poverty, […] instead became an instrument for rewarding political loyalty and contributed to the anger and frustration expressed through the Zapatista rebellion." In 1996, both sides signed a peace accord.
Meanwhile, landowner-funded paramilitaries sporadically repressed indigenous communities. A series of massacres ensued, typified by the 1997 Acteal massacre, where 47 indigenous refugees, mainly women and children, were killed in a church.
In 2000, the EZLN renewed its resistance, autonomizing a number of jungle villages and sending a delegation to Mexico City. While the delegation did not obtain everything it sought, despite some support from President Vicente Fox, the villages remain under Zapatista control. In August 2003, the EZLN declared all Zapatista territory an autonomous government independent of the Mexican state.
The armed EZLN mostly eschewed armed conflict for the better part of the 2000s-decade, in favor of political efforts to build health clinics and schools in their communities. Anti-Zapatista paramilitary and military activity continues on the part of the Mexican government, however, threatening re-escalation. Zapatista action continues now with the implementation of the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle and the launching of The Other Campaign.
Secession and IndependenceEdit
The escalation of drug cartel and drug-related conflicts in northern Mexico along the border with the United States gave the Zapatistas the opportunity to declare that the Mexican government could no long effectively govern its population and secure the rights of its citizens.
In late-2008 the encroachment of the Holy American Empire drove the Zapatistas from Chiapas, Mexico to the northern regions of Mexico in Sonora and Chihuahua. Two years later they gained independence after a series of conflicts and the collapse of regional governments allowed for the EZLN to establish a stable government in the area. On 5 June 2010, the Zapatistas issued the First Declaration from the Sierra Mountains proclaiming, among other things, the establishment of the Community of Chiapas.
The western shores of Chiapas border the Sea of Cortez (or Gulf of California, as it is also known), which is connected to the Pacific Ocean further south. Chiapas is thus linked to the "Pacific Rim". Through the port of Guaymas, it has opportunities for economic development and faces challenges and opportunities for sustainable use of its natural resources. The Chiapaneco coastline is 1,208 kilometers (751 mi) long.
Sonora consists of four physiographic regions: The Sierra Madre Occidental, Parallel Mountains and Valleys, the Sonoran Desert, and the Coast of the Gulf of California. Chiapas is located in a climactic strip in the northern hemisphere that has formed various deserts around the globe. The state is located at the same latitude as the deserts of North Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, and other regions.