Who is Subcomandante Marcos

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Posted by Janis on August 12, 1999

Hola a Todos,

This is not meant to be a political question, I know this may seem impossible, but I am looking for some factual info.

Last evening I saw a documentary by Nettie Wild entitled “A Place Called Chiapas.” Wild is a Canadian filmmaker who spent eight or so months inside the Zapatista uprising and created a rather moving and even-handed film.

Anyway, after having rather vivid dreams last night, filled with some of the images from the film, I woke with one major question.

Just who is Marcos? The film raised more questions than it answered for me, but hey, I’ve got a degree in communications/journalism and I always have more questions.


Who is Marcos, I mean in the biographical sense.

By his own admission on film, he is formally educated, from an urban area, and has only spent the past 12 years in Chiapas.

After a few hours web-surfing I couldn’t find a bio on the guy. Yes, I know EZLN is an underground movement for the most part, but has anyone speculated on just who this guy really is?

I slogged through a lengthy piece on his role in history as an individual with hubris-nemesis. Didn’t really answer my questions.

Any links or periodicals anybody knows of with factual info, or factually based speculation, would you please post an email.

Thanks you all in advance for your thoughtful responses.



Posted by Dumois on August 12, 1999

There is a book on Rafael Guillén, alias Subcomandante Marcos, written by two journalists and published in 1997, which offers a complete biography of the man: Marcos, la genial impostura
La Grange, Bertrand, and Rico, Maite Aguilar, Altea, Taurus, Alfaguara
México, 1997
ISBN: 968-19-0434-6

Available through: Amazon Books.

Saludos from Guadalajara,


Posted by motherhubbard on August 12, 1999

don’t know if this will help but just stumbled on some links.
and https://www.aprendelo.com/rec/a-tour-of-mexico-for-kids.html
may be able to connect thru some of those to other links.

Posted by James in Sacramento on August 12, 1999

Another good book on the Chiapas rebellion and its impact on greater Mexico is Bordering on Chaos by Andres Oppenheimer. Available through: Amazon Books. Oppenheimer is the Miami Herald correspondent in Mexico City, has met all the major players in Mexico over the last ten years and gives an excellent account of the political climate. Look at it this way, he had all political parties angry with him upon publication of his book, so he must have dug up something good on them right? Among the more interesting tidbits about this book that reads like a novel, is that the modern Zapatista rebellion started out as a Marxist rebellion that quickly changed gears when foreign media correspondents were fascinated by the indigenous aspect of it. He also gives a fair evaluation of Sub. Marcos/Rafael Sebastion Guillen Vicente and how he rose to be the spokesman for EZLN (he wasn’t supposed to be the cult hero he is today, notice that his title is SUBcommandante! He had those that outranked him at the outset.) I hope this helps and good luck. Feel free to e-mail with any questions.

James in Sacramento

Posted by Janis on August 13, 1999

Thanks to you all for posting. Talk about immediate gratification! Ask a question, get three great knowledgeable answers and order books from Amazon all with a few clicks!


Published or Updated on: August 12, 1999 by Discussion Thread Forum © 2009
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