Zapatista rebel leader turns his fire on Mexico’s former ruling party |

Zapatista rebel leader turns his fire on Mexico’s former ruling party

SAN CRISTOBAL DE LAS CASAS, Mexico – Rebel leader Subcomandante Marcos launched a scathing attack on Mexico’s largest political party Wednesday, calling its members “liars, murderers and thieves.”Marcos had drawn criticism from some progressives in recent months for seeming to focus his fire on front-running leftist presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.But Marcos unleashed some of his harshest language ever against the former ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI – despite the fact that he has vowed not to get involved in party politics nor support any one party against the others.”They (PRI members) are liars, murderers and thieves, every one of them,” Marcos told a rally in a poor Indian neighborhood in San Cristobal de las Casas. Marcos urged the crowd of about 1,000 poor Indians to “send this political party to Hell.”He accused PRI members of having threatened him, saying there would be a confrontation if he turned up at the rally.Speaking in Mexico City, PRI party president Mariano Palacios predicted the Zapatistas will have little influence on the country’s July 2006 presidential elections, saying the race will be won based on ideas, proposals and debate.The PRI ruled Mexico for 71 years from 1929 to 2000, and officials from PRI administrations actively battled the Zapatistas after the rebels staged a brief uprising to demand Indian rights in January 1994.Marcos is carrying out a six month tour from Mexico’s southernmost state to the U.S. border which he has called “the other campaign” as it runs up to July presidential elections. The leader of thousands of Zapatista guerrillas said he wants to create a nationalist leftist movement but won’t stand for office.Some analysts have said Marcos’ campaign is an effort to undermine the electoral campaign of Lopez Obrador, who he criticized incessantly last year.Lopez Obrador is campaigning on a center-left platform while Marcos advocates a radical revolutionary leftist agenda.Vail, Colorado

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