This chapter examines the training of indigenous Mayan catechists by the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Cristóbal de Las Casas in Chiapas, Mexico, and their subsequent role in the establishment and growth of the Ejercito Zapatista de Liberación Nacional (EZLN) in the period prior to the Zapatistas' 1994 uprising. It considers the adequacy of Timothy Wickham-Crowley's model of guerrilla insurgencies in Latin America in explaining the Zapatista case. It finds, contrary to Wickham-Crowley's model of the relations between urban university leadership groups and peasant support bases, that the catechists constituted a stratum of “organic indigenous-campesino intellectuals” that radically undermined their communities’ traditional intellectual dependence on outsiders and enabled them to constitute themselves as a new collective political subject.
Gunderson, C. (2010), "The making of organic indigenous-campesino intellectuals: catechist training in the diocese of San Cristóbal and the roots of the Zapatista uprising", Coy, P.G. (Ed.) Research in Social Movements, Conflicts and Change (Research in Social Movements, Conflicts and Change, Vol. 31), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 259-295. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0163-786X(2011)0000031011
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