The revolution that rocked Mexico
11 January 2014 Last updated at 01:12 GMT
On New Year's day in 1994, rebels from Mexico's indigenous community seized several towns in the south of the country, taking the government by complete surprise.
Led by the charismatic pipe-smoking Subcomandante Marcos, the Zapatista National Liberation Army demanded rights and recognition for its people.
The uprising, which was put down by the Mexican army, was a shock to Mexico which had just signed a trade agreement with the United States.
Father Gonzalo Ituarte, a Roman Catholic priest who witnessed the uprising, describes the dramatic events.
Witness is a World Service radio programme of the stories of our times told by the people who were there.
Directed by Claire Tailyour
Interview filmed by Deborah Bonello