Geopolitical Ecology of Rebellion on Environmental Quality in Northeast Chiapas, Mexico




Samson, Eric L.

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A two-part problem of geopolitical subdivision and political ecology of rebellious Zapatista areas of Chiapas, Mexico are examined in this research. Quantitative and qualitative (mixed) methods are used to evaluate geopolitical size and reasons for rebellion as well as environmental practices of selected official and rebellious entities. Literature review of settlement patterns and the current rebellion reveals that land disputes have a long history in Chiapas. Chiapan environmental impact also proves to have a storied past. Five rebellious, autonomous county seats (cabeceras) are compared with five official cabeceras in primarily highland, northeastern Chiapas, the region of Zapatista occupation. These administrative/market/transportation central places are evaluated as case studies in terms of demographic and environmental health parity. This dissertation concludes that disparity exists between the largely ladino cabeceras and the more rural, indigenous, declared autonomous centers of political administration. Argued is that official municipal administrations are operating beyond their carrying capacities creating a service/access deficit to the hinterlands of many Chiapan counties. Models and thresholds of administrative size are offered as solution to further insurgency.



Chiapas, Zapatista, administrative size, rebellion


Samson, E. L. (2011). Geopolitical ecology of rebellion on environmental quality in Northeast Chiapas, Mexico (Unpublished dissertation). Texas State University-San Marcos, San Marcos, Texas.


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