In this book, Stephen Lewis marshals his vast knowledge of Mexican history to provide a thorough and deeply researched account of the pioneering Centro Coordinador Indigenista Tzeltal-Tzotzil (CCI), formed in 1951 in Chiapas by the Instituto Nacional Indigenista (INI). Covering developments in education, health care, consumption, agriculture, the arts, and economic development more generally, the book concentrates on the application of state policies and also provides ample and intriguing evidence of Native people's responses to those policies and the workings of indigenous communities.

Lewis's account chronicles the heady optimism of the CCI's early years, when it sought to dismantle stifling ladino economic and political dominance in the Chiapas highlands and overcome the signs of indigenous poverty and backwardness. This “mística” nonetheless gave way quickly to a less ambitious project that was less threatening to Chiapas's powerful ladino elite. The key episode, in...

You do not currently have access to this content.