Chiapas Peace Offensive Begins Early

Tony Abdo aabdo at
Sun Jun 25 22:41:49 MDT 2000

One of the first things that Vicente Fox will do when he is declared
winner of the July 2 presidential election, will be to launch a 'Peace
Offensive'.       He has the full support of the Mexican elite, the US,
and Zedillo himself, to do this.    So, Zedillo began this process for
Fox, with this planned arrest of the 58 Chiapan PRI assassins.

One of the major reasons that the US swung over to the idea of
'alternancia', and abandonment of PRI dictatorship, was the inability of
the PRI to convince the Zapatistas to unilaterally disarm.      With Fox
and PAN in federal power, Fox will be able to carry out a propaganda
blitz to disarm both PRI and Zapatistas in Chiapas at the same time.

The appearance of federal impartiality in the conflict will be pushed by
the new PAN presidency, as a way to isolate the Zapatistas as being
unreasonable if they were to continue carrying arms.     With PRI in
office, nobody in the entire world thinks that it is unreasonable  to
stay armed for now.

I am headed south to observe the polls with Jimmy Carter and other
notables.    If we see any signs of fraud, we will let you know.      I
will be gone at least a week, so I am unsubbing myself for now.
It should be an interesting experience.
Hasta luego.......
25 Jun 2000 23:13
MEXICO CITY, June 25 (Reuters) -

Mexican authorities have issued 58 arrest warrants for supporters of the
ruling PRI in connection with the murder of seven police officers this
month in troubled Chiapas state, a report said on Sunday.

Milenio daily said a special anti-paramilitary unit of the Attorney
General's Office (PGR) identified 58 indigenous supporters of the
Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) as suspects in the June 12

A PGR spokesman contacted Sunday in Mexico City said he had no
information about the case.

Gunmen ambushed a police patrol in a region of Chiapas state where
support for the Zapatista Indian rebels is strong, riddling the
officers' car with bullets.
The Zapatistas, who launched an armed revolt on New Year's Day in 1994
demanding improved indigenous rights, have denied responsibility and
said the murders bore the marks of an attack by drug traffickers,
paramilitaries or the army.

The ambush occurred in daylight on a rural road between the towns of
Lagunas and El Bosque, 68 miles (110 km) northwest of the state capital
of Tuxtla Gutierrez.

The municipality of El Bosque, declared "autonomous" by Zapatistas
sympathizers, was retaken by police and the army in June 1998 in an
operation that left eight dead.

Peace talks between the government and guerrillas broke down in
September 1996, but a fragile truce has held since, with the rebels
holed up in jungle-hideouts, surrounded by tens of thousands of troops.

While direct clashes between the army and the Zapatistas have been
infrequent since the original rebellion, church and rights groups say
pro-PRI paramilitaries sow terror in the Chiapas highlands, hunting down
rebel sympathizers.

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