Comandanta Esther

Comandanta Esther is the nom de guerre of a revolutionary in the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) of Chiapas, Mexico, created for indigenous people's rights.[1] She is considered a high ranking woman in the EZLN. Military "commanders" have no actual power and are simply spokespeople for the movement.[2] Comandanta Esther is best known for her March 2001 speech to the Congress of the Union at the San Lazaro Legislative Palace in Mexico City, in which she spoke for constitutional recognition of indigenous people.[3] She also spoke of the difficulty that indigenous women face from being both indigenous and women and that they need their rights acknowledged.[4] Her work has helped inspire women activists to speak up in and join leadership roles in their communities in Mexico.[5]


  1. Marcos, Sylvia (2009-10-24). "Mesoamerican Women's Indigenous Spirituality: Decolonizing Religious Beliefs". Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion. 25 (2): 25–45. ISSN 1553-3913 via Project MUSE.
  2. "A Struggle within a Struggle". International Museum of Women. Retrieved 2017-11-01.
  3. "Comandanta Esther in the Congress of the Union" (PDF). Schools for Chiapas. 2001.
  4. Taylor, Analisa (2009). Indigeneity in the Mexican Cultural Imagination: Thresholds of Belonging. Arizona, USA: University of Arizona Press. p. 1. ISBN 978-0-8165-2718-2.
  5. Blackwell, Maylei (2006). "Weaving in the Spaces: Indigenous Women's Organizing and the Politics of Scale in Mexico". In Speed, Shannon; Hernández Castillo, R. Aída; Stephen, Lynn M. (eds.). Dissident Women: Gender and Cultural Politics in Chiapas. University of Texas Press. ISBN 9780292794337 via Project MUSE.
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