Civil Conflict in Southern Mexico: A Comparative and Integrative Analysis of Three Cases




Finley, Ethan

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Since the early 1990s, southern Mexico has suffered several significant instances of civil unrest, protest and violent military/civilian clashes, which profoundly affect the lives of local peoples and threaten national and regional stability. This study examines three remarkable and ongoing episodes of low-intensity civil conflict in Mexico's southern states of Chiapas, Oaxaca and Guerrero. It is concluded that the three states suffer from similarly high levels of structural violence, and that the militant groups under consideration share many grievances and goals. However, the three groups vary widely in terms of the contentious tactics they use, particularly their use of violence. It is argued that this variance is due in large part to a complex relationship between the political opportunities and constraints faced by each group and their unique social identities and ideologies. The implications of the study's analytical model for the nonviolent settlement of intrastate conflict in general are considered.



Mexico, Conflict, Zapatistas, Oaxaca, Tactics, Identity