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The face that launched a million tourists

1 July 2009

Said to be responsible for a million European tourists a year,  it’s no wonder Rafael Cal y Mayor, Secretary of Tourism for the State of Chiapas calls Rafael Sebastián Guillén Vicente, the best public relations the state could have.

Guillén is a rather surpring figure to represent the south Mexican state best known for its Mayan culture.  The  son of a Spanish-immigrant Tampico furniture store owner and brother of Tamulipas Attorney-General Mercedes del Carmen Guillén Vicente, he  studied philosophy at UNAM, and worked in Tamalipas for the PRI before crafting a new career as spokesmodel for Zapatista®-Brand Revolutionary Politics.

Of the four million mostly European visitors who come to Chiapas every year, a full quarter of them mention Zapatista®-Brand when making their travel plans.   For most of these tourists, Guillén’s “sub-comandante Marcos” persona IS Zapatista®-Brand’… raising him to that rare pantheon of models who ARE their product:    What Argentine pathologist Ernesto Guevera did for tee-shirts and Kentucky cook Nancy Green did for pancakes, Guillén — and his ski-mask — do for the State of Chiapas.


3 Comments leave one →
  1. 1 July 2009 8:29 am

    Crap I was going to post something about that and you beat me to it. Hilarious in any event.

  2. 1 July 2009 5:34 pm

    You don’t like Marcos ? eh…
    It has been the media that has idolized him, too much attention to the persona and less to the movement. But still worthwhile…


  1. Global Voices Online » Mexico: The Zapatista “Brand” and Tourism in Chiapas

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