Viva Zapatista

Trip Start Feb 03, 2006
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Trip End Jun 20, 2006


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Flag of Mexico  ,
Friday, May 12, 2006

We are currently in San Cristobal de las Casas, in Chiapas. It is an interesting time to be here. Last week, there was a protest over the expulsion of flower vendors in a town near Mexico City, Atenco. The Zapatista (leader? spokesman?) Subcommandante Marcos was in town for a rally for the Zapatista "Other Campaign" which denounces all the current Mexican presidential candidates and their parties as corrupt and unsustainable. Evidently some of the Zapatistas were involved in the fray that resulted from the protest, and police got involved. Everything appears murky from there, but the outcome was dozens of arrests and at least one death. Mexican President Fox has blamed Marcos and the Zapatistas, and because of this Marcos put out a "red alert", which basically means that all the Zapatistas in Chiapas are lying low, except for several hundred that marched through San Cristobal last night. There have been daily rallies on the central square, and the police and military presence here appears to be heightened, even during the short time we have been in town.

Otherwise, San Cristobal is great. The town is really old, with some stunning colonial architecture, including at least two "lions" above a doorway that look to be rats. We have a good hostel, albeit with a few resident drug casualties (One guy sits in his doorway day and night messing with his computer, his pupils dilated and his mouth agape. Another tries to feed us his sorry lentils and rice and runs around accusing people of taking his coco(nut)). We have spent most of our time here just wandering around, looking at amber (mined locally), lots of crafts, and eating some great food. There is a falafel stand here that we have grown especially fond of--we´ve had lunch there the last three days. Everything in San Cristobal is incredibly cheap, more akin to Guatemala prices than Mexico prices. A big falafel sandwich and a banana licuado (shake) runs about $2.75.

Sadly, we must report the death of a former friend. Andrew's running shoe decided to kick the bucket yesterday, its sole splitting in half. We have tried to email Montrail to express our displeasure, but their email system does not work.
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