Mexican Army Hesitantly Meeting EZLN Demands

On Tuesday, Mexican President Vicente Fox announced that the Rio Euseba, La Garrucha and Guadalupe Tepeyac military bases – the three bases that remained open of the seven cited by
the Zapatistas – would be turned into clinics for the local indian communities.

Mexico City, Mar 23, 2001 – On Tuesday, Mexican President Vicente Fox announced that the Rio Euseba, La Garrucha and Guadalupe Tepeyac military bases – the three bases that remained open of the seven cited by the Zapatistas – would be turned into clinics for the local indian communities.

The Zapatista guerrillas had repeatedly demanded the three bases in Chiapas be closed as part of ongoing peace negotiations.

The army withdrew from Rio Euseba on Wednesday, but fearing occupation by the guerrillas, the army deployed a 25-man unit to monitor access to the base.

After the military withdrawal, hundreds of indians surrounded Rio Euseba, remaining outside the boundary fences and waiting expectantly.

In December, the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN) demanded the government dismantle seven military bases, release nearly 100 imprisoned Zapatista guerrillas and ratify the Indian Rights and Culture bill as conditions to
restart the stalled peace negotiations.

Meanwhile, on Thursday night, a group of ranchers marched through San Cristobal de las Casas demanding the government order the army to definitively crush the EZLN uprising that
sparked Jan. 1, 1994.

According to the ranchers and the small landowners, the guerrillas have seized some 100,000 hectares (246,914 acres) of land and some 25,000 head of cattle since the uprising
began.

Author:

News Service: EFE

URL: http://www.efe.es