cacique a leader/boss who controls social, political, and economic
life at the local level. In this book, they are commonly asso-
ciated with the PRI.
compa abbreviated form of compañero
compañero a word similar in political, military, and fraternal connota-
tion to “comrade”
campesino a peasant
cañada a canyon
catechist a Church lay worker
caudillo a leader who uses strongman tactics
chiapaneco an inhabitant of the state of Chiapas
Chol one of Chiapas’s many indigenous (Mayan) groups
consulta a consensual decision-making process traditionally em-
ployed by village communities
dedazo the “big fingerpoint”; a PRI ritual whereby the party’s next
presidential candidate is unveiled
ejiditario a member of an ejido
ejido communal agricultural lands that have been distributed
through land reform
encuentro a meeting
finca a commercial farm
finquero the owner of a finca
guardias blancas White Guards or paramilitaries
jefe a chief or leader
ladino a Spanish-speaking non-Indian
latifundista the owner of a latifundio (a large plantation)
Mams one of Chiapas’s many indigenous (Mayan) groups
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