File spoon-archives/marxism-general.archive/marxism-general_1996/96-12-01.070, message 16

Date: Mon, 25 Nov 1996 19:05:11 -0800

     MEXICO CITY, Nov 21 (Reuter) - A new guerrilla force emerged
on Revolution Day with a manifesto calling for an end to
President Ernesto Zedillo's "anti-popular and repressive"
government, excerpts in several newspapers said on Thursday.
     In the seven-page document, the Revolutionary Army of
Popular Insurgence (ERIP) declared it was an armed force "from
the people and for the people" and demanded Zedillo's
administration resign and call a special assembly to draft a new
     The ERIP has not been heard of before but if its existence
is confirmed it would be Mexico's third guerrilla group to arise
in the last three years, after the Zapatista National Liberation
Army (EZLN), which launched an armed rebellion in the southern
state of Chiapas in January 1994, and the Popular Revolutionary
Army (EPR), which appeared in June of this year.
     Zedillo and his key spokesmen were travelling in Asia and
there was no immediate government reaction to the rebel
manifesto, which was sent to media on Wednesday as Mexico
celebrated the 86th anniversary of its 1910 Revolution.
     The ERIP manifesto said it saluted and supported the "heroic
gesture" of the armed struggle launched by the Zapatistas and the
EPR in defence of Mexico's poor.
     "The ERIP is the armed expression of the popular masses who
are rising up to oppose the anti-popular, repressive and servile
policy of the current state which has been usurping power through
fraudulent elections based on a small minority."
     The new group said it was made up of peasants, Indians and
workers as well as nationalist small businessmen who had been
"oppressed and exploited by the PRI-government." The PRI is the
Spanish acronym for the Institutional Revolutionary Party, which
has ruled Mexico for the past 67 years.
     ERIP rebel activities would be concentrated in the centre
and north of Mexico, the manifesto said. The Zapatistas have
operated in the southernmost state of Chiapas and the EPR has
mostly attacked in the southern states of Oaxaca and Guerrero.
     The appearance of the ERIP manifesto comes a week after
Zapatista leader Subcommander Marcos said new guerrilla groups
had sprung up in Mexico. "There are three or four armed groups
that the government does not want to recognise in (the states of)
Hidalgo, Oaxaca, Veracruz and Puebla," Marcos said.
     Asked about Marcos's assertion in an interview with Reuters
on Tuesday, Zedillo said he had no knowledge of any new guerrilla
group apart from the Zapatistas or the EPR. "I don't know what
the intelligence sources of Marcos are," he said. "The only thing
I know is the EZLN ... and the EPR."
     El Universal newspaper said on Thursday that locals had
spotted members of the new group since March in the mountains of
the remote Papaloapan region of Oaxaca, about 145 miles (230 km)
southeast of Mexico City near the border with Puebla state.
     Residents in the area believed the new group might be led by
followers of "Commander Red", an army deserter named Jorge
Alberto Vasquez Gallardo who led a small rebel group from 1989
until he was shot to death by security forces in 1993, it said.

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