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Third World Technology Use

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Third World Technology Use

In recent years, information has been a hot topic. What is information and what purpose does it serve? Is information a commodity or a necessity? The insurrection of this interest is partly, if not entirely, a product of the increasing popularity of the Internet , the information superhighway and of Information technology. Deedee Halleck points out in her article, "Zapatistas On-Line" , how in the past two years, the indigenous people of the Mexican state of Chiapas have clearly answered many of these questions. It is ironic that the Internet has been used at a very powerful potential by people whom we would never even picture in the same room as a computer. The Zapatistas have used information as a high-tech weapon, proving that words are the best weapon. Their discussion and dissemination of information on the net has helped to publicize the Zapatistas' issues in alternative media outlets, and to mobilize caravans which have brought medical and food aid to Chiapas(Cleaver 1995). Most amazing is the pressure that these powerless peasants have been able to put on the Mexican government.

Perhaps some background on the Zapatistas may be helpful here. On New Years Day, 1994, peasant rebels took over six towns, including San Cristobal de las Casas, in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas and declared war. Chiapas is one of the poorest states in Mexico, suffering from job declines in coffee and oil production, and with a large ethnic population of Mayan Indians. The rebels call themselves the Ejercito Zapatista de Liberacion Nacional (EZLN). The Zapatistas are a group of rebels which includes both men and women whose purpose is to fight for their rights, particularly for work, land, housing, food, h...

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...lity Debate" Chiapas95. Online. U of Texas. Internet. 21 March 1995.

Cleaver, Harry M. "The Chiapas Uprising and the Future of Class Struggle in the New World Order" U of Texas at Austin. Internet. 22 March 1995. hmcleave@mundo.eco.utexas.edu

Cleaver, Harry M. "Propaganda: White Washing the Mexican Crisis" Chiapas-1. Online. U of Texas at AUstin. Internet. 18 September 1995

Halleck, Deedee. "Zapatistas On-Line" Report on Culture, NACLA Report on the Americas. Sept/ Oct 1994.

Watson, R. et al. "Rebels use Internet" Newsweek. Feb 27, 1995

Wood, Darin. "Netwars. Chiapas: The Revolution will not be Televised (but it will be on-line)" Online. Internet. June 1995. Available WWW: http://www.oneworld.org/index _ oc/wood.html

Young, Elliot. "Netwars? or Cyberspace and Ungovernability" Chiapas-1. Online. Colegio de la Frontera. Internet. 20 March 1995.
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