While a young American was enjoying himself in Zapatista country in Mexico, his friend was worried about his safety. She told me, “He can be kidnapped for ransom. It has happened there.” A comment on the young man’s Facebook page also said, “Zapatistas are known to kidnap gringos.”
Is it true, or is it influenced by propaganda?
I googled the Zapatista. They are revolutionary leftists, who have been seeking indigenous control over the land. Their major weapons are mass media and the Internet. I could not find any record linking kidnapers to the group. According to an article on the Christian Science Monitor, criminal activity, if they dare mix themselves in, could only jeopardize their meager existence because it would give the Mexican government a reason to attack them.
It is true that abductions of foreigners have soared in Mexico in recent years, and tourists should be cautious there. However, I believe that Zapatistas should not be blamed for it. Moreover, we should not assume what they do, based on what little we know of them.
When the young man returned to South Dakota, he told me, “They are sad, sad people.” Who would not be in the land where little ones die from curable diseases almost every day?