The Common Good
March-April 1998

Clarity on Chiapas

by Wendy Lehman | March-April 1998

I APPRECIATED the much-needed article, "A Collaboration
Against Hatred," by Jim Hodgson ("Commentary,"
January-February 1998).

I APPRECIATED the much-needed article, "A Collaboration Against Hatred," by Jim Hodgson ("Commentary," January-February 1998). The atrocities—and in this case, the hope—in Chiapas need to receive coverage and the powers need to be unmasked. I visited Chiapas twice and met with numerous peace, human rights, and religious workers there, as well as people who have been violently displaced by paramilitary groups.

I did want to register a concern about the portrayal of the Zapatista movement. The article refers to paramilitary groups attacking civilians perceived to be a part of the 4-year-old "‘guerrilla movement, the Zapatista Army for National Liberation.'" According to people we met there, only about 3 percent of the Zapatista movement is armed. Most of it is nonviolent or unarmed, and most participants are not guerrillas.

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