Jan de Vos

Male, Person

1936 –

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Who is Jan de Vos?

Jan de Vos van Gerven was a Belgian historian, who lived in Mexico from 1973 until his death in 2011.

In 1995 he became guest-advisor to the Zapatista Army of National Liberation during the peace talks between the EZLN and the Mexican Government.

Jan de Vos was born in Antwerp, Belgium, in 1936. He grew up bilingual in Dutch and French. He achieved his PhD. in the humanities at the University of Leuven, Belgium.

In 1973 he came to Chiapas, Mexico, as a missionary priest. Over time, and in relationships with the indigenous Mayans of the Lacandon region, he adopted an outlook influenced by liberation theology.

"I came to Chiapas to bring the Mayan people the Word of God, but they converted me instead"

During his life in Chiapas he did research and wrote wrote many books on the history of the Lacandon region and processes that led to the Chiapas conflict.

In 1986, he received an academic prize and in 1992 he received the national Juchimán de Plata prize.

Having made a reputation by writing on the Lacandon Jungle, he was invited as a permanent guest advisor by the EZLN during the negotiations between the government and the EZLN in San Andrés Larráinzar in 1995.

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