EPR, EZLN, & Internal Politics

Louis R Godena louisgodena at ids.net
Fri Sep 6 12:49:19 MDT 1996


The conservative PAN party of the Mexican state of Tabasco backed off its
allegation this morning that Governor Roberto Madrazo (PRI) was linked to
two men arrested Monday and accused of being supporters of the Popular
Revolutionary Army (EPR).

One of those arrested,  Jose Garcia Martin,  was apparently photographed
with the Governor two years ago at a political rally;  he denied yesterday
any links to the outlawed guerrilla army whose attacks last week claimed the
lives of 17 people,  claiming to be a PRI supporter for the past two decades.

The other suspect,  Ignacio Lopez Gueterrez,  also denied links to the EPR.
Today it was revealed that he had held minor posts in a previous PRI
administration in Tabasco.     Journalists have thus far failed to turn up
any evidence that either of those detained had direct links with the rebels,
whose murky identity has sent intelligence services throughout Latin America
scrambling.    Yesterday,  it was reported in La Jornado that the EPR had
"ideological" ties to the Partido Comunista del Peru ("Sendero Luminoso")
and that a "military leader" in last weeks attacks was one Hector Hernandez
("Antonio"),  who allegedly had links to the PCP in Ayacucho,  Peru in the
late 1980s.    The article produced little evidence for such a claim,  however.

PAN,  along with others sympathetic to the large landowners and capitalists
of southern Mexico, has been quick to allege links between the government
and other guerrilla groups like the EZLN in Chiapas.    This has been seen
as some as part of an overall strategy to unify often fragmented
center-right political forces which have been warring over local politics
for more than three decades.    Indeed,  it was a PAN--controlled newpaper
in Chiapas which first reported in 1994 that Subcommandante "Marcos" was the
son of a well known PRI cabinet minister,  a charge that proved groundless.
PAN has also accused the left-of-center PRD of being the "silent partner" of
armed rebel groups in Tabasco and elsewhere.

Louis Godena



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