“Mexico’s Zapatista rebels, 24 years on and defiant in mountain strongholds”

‘Today the Zapatistas, who have never disarmed, claim to control much of the state of Chiapas. “There are 50,000 families, or nearly 300,000 people in 55 municipalities. Their rules of ‘good government’ involve giving their time several days a week to the community, sharing food, helping to teach the young, and organising,” says Heredia. “They are autonomous,” he adds. “Most villages are in the mountains and the great Lacandon forest. They have their own system of education, health, justice, government and security. They are still poor but they train their own teachers and doctors, and some have their own currency. The Mexican government mostly leaves them alone.”’