To See with Two Eyes: Peasant Activism and Indian Autonomy in Chiapas, Mexico by Shannan L.

Mattiace Review by: Lynn Stephen Journal of Anthropological Research, Vol. 60, No. 4 (Winter, 2004), pp. 575-577 Published by: University of New Mexico Stable URL: . Accessed: 10/01/2012 20:42
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Stefansson reminds us that there are "qualitatively different kinds of displacements"(p. 185). Moreover, we should not forget the imaginativehold has over people. While I agreethatthis is an important "homeland" insight,andone borne out throughthe articlespresentedin this volume, these authorsalso suggest, in presentingthe complexitiesin identityformationthat arise frommigration,that "home"becomes more a vestige of memory and imagination,perhapsan always becoming reality that is only becomes "real"when looked upon with hindsight. Coming Home? offers ethnographicallyrich portrayals of the way the imaginingsandrealitiesof "home"affect refugeeexperiencesand subjectivities.It is perhapsmy own interestin diasporastudiesthatcompels me to suggest thatthis aspect of the volume could be amplifiedif some attentionwere paid to returnsof second- and third-generation refugees and migrantswho may not have ever been "home"before. Overall, ComingHome? covers a broad range of considerations thataffect migranthomecomingandincludesresearchthataims to exploremigrant returnexperiences from a variety of perspectives. The volume is an important contributionto migrationscholarshipand an especially welcome examinationof the overlooked and understudied phenomenonof returnmigration. Julia MeredithHess University of New Mexico

To See with Two Eyes: Peasant Activism and Indian Autonomy in Chiapas, Mexico. Shannan L. Mattiace. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2003, 224 pp., 3 maps. $21.95, paper. Based on fieldworkcarriedout largely in 1995 and 1996, this monographwill be of most interestto anthropologists and political scientistsexploringthe historical, political, cultural,and economic factorsbehindthe multiplemodels of indigenous self-determination now practicedin Chiapasand elsewhere in Mexico. The book in Chiapasin a comparativedialogue also places indigenous self-determination with othereffortsto organizeethnicautonomyregimes throughout LatinAmerica. To See with Two Eyes adds an important to the now-thick literature on the piece in of National Liberation not so much (EZLN) Chiapas,focusing ZapatistaArmy on the EZLN itself, but on the way thatEZLN demandsfor indigenousrights and self-determination emerged historicallyand were taken in differentdirectionsby differentethnic groups and organizationsin Chiapas. Through a detailed historical and political analysis, Mattiace demonstrates how a multitudeof factors influenced what came to be known as "indigenous autonomy" in eastern Chiapas. She shows how many of the major peasant organizationsthat operatedin the region beginningin the mid-1970s trainedkey leaders who later became identified with indigenousrights struggles,provideda materialbase for organizationsthrougha focus on productiveactivities and land
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and createdregional structures that were adoptedin some partsof redistribution, Chiapas as part of regional indigenous autonomy regimes. Her analysis also focuses on the role of nationalindigenistpolicies and organizations,such as the NationalIndigenistInstitute(INI),INI Coordinating Centers,SupremeCouncilsof different ethnic groups, and other state-originatedorganizations such as the CONASUPOlocal counsels and INI theatrebrigades,in providingsome political at the local and national level for the openings and terrainfor experimentation of and empowerment indigenouspeoples leadershipdevelopment.Her analysisof institutions tensions and disagreementsin such institutions indigenous highlights that in some cases permittedthese spaces to be fully or partiallyappropriated by their indigenous participants and their non-Indianallies. Such experiences were importantin the constructionof earlier experimentsof autonomy such as the Tojolabalregional governmentof the late 1980s as well as in the EZLN Rebel Municipalities and Autonomous Regions and the Pluriethnic Autonomous Regions (RAPS) of the 1990s. The book's most in-depth focus is on the case of Tojolabal regional in governmentthatemergedin the late 1980s built on both a peasantorganization the region (CIOAC) and on the state-created Consejo Supremo Tojolabal. Identifiedas a parallel governmentthat operatedin opposition to the municipal one, this experimentis an importantprototypefor currentautonomyregimes in Chiapas.I wish that more of the book had been devoted to this case study. As Mattiace documents, the Tojolabal have a unique ethnic history in that their community structures were destroyed in the nineteenth century by Mestizo landownersand local communityidentityis not as strongas elsewhere.Migration areasof settlementto the Lacandon beginningin the 1950s from traditional jungle of ejidos (agrarian reform wherefamilies wereorganizedaccordingto the structure communities) increased the possibility for building extralocal organizational structures. At the same time, advocatesfor a regionalTojolabalgovernmenthave had to battle conflict between ejido communities as competition for land intensifiedwith each generation. In the structure of the book, Mattiace interjects what she calls four "Vignettes."The richest ethnographicmaterialis reserved for these interludes. One, which documentsthe takeoverof an INI-runradio stationin Las Margaritas in 1996 andthe subsequentnegotiationsbetween INI officials and a wide rangeof rich in illustratingthe complexity and conflict local organizations,is particularly thatexists betweendifferentindigenousorganizations andcommunitiesin Chiapas with regardto how to interpretand implementindigenousautonomyin concrete terms. While autonomous indigenous governance structureshave often been created by indigenous intellectuals and organizationalleaders at the top, local of what autonomymeans are often confused. understandings After providinga detailed discussion of the process throughwhich the San Andr s Accords on IndigenousRights and Culturewere negotiatedand signed by the EZLN and the Mexican government,Mattiaceconcludes by comparingwhat happened with proposals for indigenous self-determinationin Mexico with occurrencesin other Latin Americannations. In 2001, the Mexican government
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legislated a watered-downversion of the historicaccords,known as "SanAndr6s Light," which was profoundlyunsatisfactoryto most indigenous organizations, groups, and communities. Mattiace concludes that unlike the cases of Panama (Kuna)and Nicaragua(Miskito), where indigenousgroupswere able to negotiate a full-fledgedlegal autonomyregime afterarmedconflicts,the EZLN andits allies in Mexico failed because access to decision-making spheres was closed to indigenousleaders,and the EZLN and the nationalindigenousmovementhad no influential political ally inside the governmentwho could bring the autonomy regime to legal reality. The fact that Mexico recognized multiculturalism of a neoliberaleconomic regime limited simultaneouslywith the implementation the material base for the reproductionof indigenous culture. Thus, Mattiace suggests the need for indigenous rights organizersto continue to press for both materialand culturaldemands. To See with Two Eyes provides a valuable, detailed account of different and experiencesof indigenousautonomyin Mexico andelsewhere understandings in Latin America. While it is not as rich in ethnographic detail as most for anyoneinterestedin anthropologists might like, it providesa useful framework issues of indigenousrights and ethnic and culturalidentitiesin the Americas. Lynn Stephen University of Oregon

The Guaymas Chronicles: La Mandadera; El Giiero on the Streets of Northwest Mexico. David E. Stuart. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2003, xiii, + 394 pp., illustrations, maps. $24.95, cloth It's complicatedto be stuck betweentwo worlds. -David Stuart This nostalgic, "novelized"memoir by an American anthropologistportraysa liminal period of his youth in a liminal part of the continent:the U.S.-Mexican borderlands.That is, after fleeing his fieldwork in Ecuador,David Stuartwent native in Guaymas,Sonora, by smuggling small amountsof consumergoods in from Tucson, Arizona.Consequently,the book offers an engaging accountof the informalsectorof the Mexicaneconomy circa 1970, the beginningof the end of the postrevolutionarystate. But most important is Stuart's sympathetic, finally narrative of his fatherlyidentificationwith an eleven-year-oldnifia heartbreaking de la calle (street kid)-a creaturelike "somethingout of a Dickens novel"whom he hires to be his errandgirl (la mandaderaof the title). Lupitahadn'tbeenjust some kid I liked. She had neverhad a fair chanceto be just a child. At times she was detached,frightened,sleepingwhereno one Journal vol. 60, 2004 Research, of Anthropological