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THE WORLD | IN BRIEF / MEXICO

Zapatista Sympathizers Protest Rights Bill

July 31, 2001|From Times Wire Reports

Zapatista sympathizers blocked main highways in the southern state of Chiapas, protesting Mexico's approval of a watered-down Indian rights bill.

The demonstrators also urged President Vicente Fox to free nine Zapatista sympathizers from jails, disarm paramilitary groups and stop "political repression."

They blocked highways for hours across the state, bringing traffic to a halt.

Legislators have approved a revised Indian rights bill opposed by many of the country's Indians because it weakened clauses for Indian autonomy and for rights over land and natural resources.

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