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MEXICO marked the 100th anniversary last night of the assassination of revolutionary hero Emiliano Zapata, who was gunned down by the military for his unflinching leftist ideals.
Zapata, along with Francisco “Pancho” Villa, was one of the most popular figures of the 1910-1917 Mexican Revolution, which began after the deeply unpopular president Porfirio Diaz rigged an election, kicking off an armed struggle over who would replace him.
Zapata led a peasant uprising in the southern state of Morelos demanding that those who tilled the land should own it, among other socialist notions.
Zapata’s ideals remain popular in Mexico, particularly in the rural southern areas, and inspires the leftist group Zapatista Army of National Liberation in Chiapas today.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (Amlo) has designated 2019 as the year of Zapata, and the government has issued metro tickets, postage stamps and lottery tickets with images of the moustachioed, broad-hatted revolutionary.
Amlo said Zapata never sold out though he was offered land and wealth. Up to the present day, the favourite chant at Mexican protests remains: “Zapata lives! The fight continues!”
“As the saying goes, ‘Zapata lives,’ because he was incorruptible, he was the most loyal leader that rural people have ever had,” Amlo said at the ceremony, which was held in Zapata’s home state of Morelos, just south of Mexico City.
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