Zapaturismo

Zapatourism (from Spanish, zapaturismo) is a touristic phenomenon in the Mexican state of Chiapas caused by the presence of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation. International and national tourists visit the area attracted by the message, image or policy of the Zapatista movement which claims to provide autonomy, dignity and freedom of the local indigenous communities. The rebel communities and municipalities in the zone are the entrance to this anti-globalization movement, phenomenon which is also called "political tourism".

The endorsement to tourism made by the neozapatistas has its origin on the fact that the EZLN is a post-modern guerrilla (which calls itself "pacific insurgency").

In 1996, the EZLN started the "Zapatismo" phenomenon by inviting world-renowned celebrities such as Oliver Stone, Edward James Olmos, Danielle Mitterrand, to visit the Lacandon Jungle, in the state of Chiapas.

However, in recent years, the Zapatista's support for Zapaturismo has waned. When Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador began pushing for a "Maya Train", a 950-mile railway line which would connect archaeological sites along the Yucatan Peninsula and open the region to greater tourism, the EZLN stated the project would be "an open declaration of war". They stated they felt that the project seemed to serve corporate interests, not those of the local communities. They stated that it felt like the train line would simply serve to shuttle rich international tourists from cultural site to cultural site without giving anything back to the communities and that the locals would not receive "dignified" related work, but instead be expected to work various jobs serving the tourists. They also expressed fears about predatory commercial interests such as Hotel chains seeking to profiteer off the indigenous cultures without any genuine interest or commitment to those communities.[1]

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  1. ^ Hackbarth, Kurt; Mooers, Colin (9 September 2019). "The Zapatista Revolution Is Not Over". Retrieved 3 April 2020.