THE STRANGE LEGACY OF EMILIANO ZAPATA IN THE USA

Postcards From a PostMexican

This year, there will be many events throughout Mexico commemorating the one hundred anniversary of the death of Emiliano Zapata. Government officials at every level will try to squeeze out of them as much political juice as possible to solidify their legitimacy among their followers.

Behind this political façade, there is a reality that few people will bring up and discuss during these days of remembrance. I’ll put it bluntly: if we drop the myth surrounding the general and examine Zapata’s legacy, I’m not sure there is much to crow about.

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Every time I come across the general’s name, I remember the slogans associated with him such as “Land and liberty,” “The land belongs to those who work it with their hands,” and “It’s better to die standing than to live on your knees.” For a long time those words used to make me proud to be the son of…

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