John Ross, 72, a U.S. poet, author, journalist and political activist who lived in Mexico and wrote extensively on its leftist political movements, died of liver cancer Jan. 17 in Tzintzuntzan, in the western state of Michoacan.
Mr. Ross was the author of several books, including a gritty portrait of Mexico City, where he had spent almost all of his time since 1985.
Mr. Ross, a New York native, was one of the early draft resisters during the Vietnam War, and in early 2003 he traveled to Iraq, hoping to serve as a “ human shield” to help protect Iraqi civilians before the U.S.-led invasion. The volunteers were forced out of the country because they were critical of the Iraqi government’s choice of sites to protect.
Over the years, Mr. Ross wrote articles for San Francisco newspapers, Counter Punch, Pacific News Service and the Mexico City daily La Jornada.
His stories reflected his interest in rebel movements such as the Zapatistas in southern Chiapas state, who staged a brief armed uprising in 1994 for greater Indian rights. He was one of the first journalists to report on the Zapatistas and wrote extensively on the movement, including the book “Rebellion From the Roots: Zapatista Uprising in Chiapas.”