Indigenous social movements for human rights in Latin America: the case of Zapatista movement
The dissertation focuses on the indigenous social movements for human rights in Latin America, specifically analysing the case of the Zapatistas case in Chiapas, Mexico. The main thesis of the dissertation is that the Zapatista movement significantly improved the situation with indigenous rights in Chiapas, as well as across the whole of Latin America. The goal of the dissertation is to research the influence of the Zapatista movement on the protection of indigenous rights in Mexico and Latin America in general. To achieve this goal there are also secondary aims. The first is to construct a theoretical approach that would make it possible to analyse the social movements. The second, is to analyse how the regime of indigenous rights was created. The third is to provide an overview of the Zapatista movement. The fourth is to analyse what achievements were secured by the Zapatista movement. The dissertation is constructed of three main parts. The first part is the theoretical framework. In this part two main theories are analysed – Recourse mobilization theory and New social movements theory. The main points of each theory and the main critics are presented. Since neither of the theories can fully explain social movements, both theories will be used in the dissertation. The second part of the dissertation analyses the regime of indigenous human rights. It looks at how the regime of these rights developed, what the main obstacles were and what the main achievements were that were secured. It focuses primarily on the indigenous rights regime in Latin America. The third part of the dissertation specifically analyses the Zapatista movement. First, the Zapatista movement is presented – its roots, history and aims in the framework of the theories discussed in the first part of the dissertation. Later on the paper looks at whether or not the Zapatista movement brought any improvements in the indigenous rights situation. The research will be conducted by analysing documents as well as performing content analysis on Mexico’s newspapers.