Comandante Ramona

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Comandanta Ramona

Comandanta Ramona (1959 – January 6, 2006) was the nom de guerre of an officer of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), a revolutionary indigenous autonomist organization based in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas. She was perhaps the most famous female Zapatista figure for her role early in the uprising. A member of the Zapatista leading council, the CCRI (Clandestine Revolutionary Indigenous Committee), she served as a symbol of equality and dignity for indigenous and impoverished women.[1]

Ramona was born in 1959 in a Tzotzil Maya community in the highlands of Chiapas, Mexico.[2][3] Very little is known about her life prior to joining the EZLN.[4]

Ramona took control of the city of San Cristóbal de las Casas, the former capital of Chiapas, during the January 1, 1994 Zapatista uprising. Ramona began a long fight with cancer the same year; in 1995, she received a kidney transplant,[5] which extended her life for over a decade.

In 1996, she broke through a government encirclement when she traveled to Mexico City to help found the National Indigenous Congress.[6]

Her last public appearance was at a preparation meeting—a plenary session for The Other Campaign—in Caracol de La Garrucha in the municipality of Francisco Gómez on September 16, 2005. After her death, Subcomandante Marcos suspended The Other Campaign activities for several days in order to be present at Ramona's funeral service.


  1. ^ Zwarenstein, Carlyn (January 11, 2006). "Legacy of a Zapatista Rebel". The Globe and Mail. p. 19. 
  2. ^ Queen of the Neighbourhood Collective (2010). Revolutionary Women: A Book of Stencils. Oakland, California: PM Press. p. 99. ISBN 1604862009. 
  3. ^ Amozurrutia, Alina (2008). 101 Mujeres en la Historia de México (in Spanish). Mexico City: Grijalbo. p. 301. ISBN 9708103284. 
  4. ^ Slifer, Shaun; Young, Bec (2010). Firebrands: Portraits from the Americas. Bloomington, Indiana: Microcosm. p. 119. ISBN 1934620688. 
  5. ^ Davidson, Phil (January 11, 2006). "Comandanta Ramona; Zapatista Rebel Leader Dies". The Independent. p. 37. 
  6. ^ Ross, John (March 19, 1999). "The Zapatistas are Back". LA Weekly.