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Mexico Rebel Tears Into Spain's Leaders

Paper publishes note to a supporter in which the Zapatista leader calls the premier 'an imbecile.'

November 26, 2002|From Associated Press

MEXICO CITY — A newspaper published a dispatch from reclusive Zapatista rebel leader Subcommander Marcos, a letter laced with scatological humor and insults for major Spanish political figures.

Marcos called Spanish judge Baltasar Garzon "a grotesque clown" and labeled Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar "an imbecile" in a letter dated Oct. 12 and published by La Jornada.

Garzon -- who has led efforts to bring former dictators including Chile's Augusto Pinochet to trial for past crimes -- apparently earned Marcos' wrath for his participation in a crackdown on Basque separatists, whom the Spanish government blames for terror attacks.

The letter was apparently written to a Spanish supporter of the Zapatista rebels, a group that staged a brief armed uprising in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas in 1994, demanding greater Indian rights.

Marcos' letters are normally marked by their joking tone, but this one descended into bathroom humor.

It also included some poetry about a revolutionary butterfly -- "The butterfly says NO! No to logic, No to prudence ... " -- and political commentary, directed at Mexican President Vicente Fox: The Zapatistas "are not being silent, the thing is that you are not listening to them."

Another letter from Marcos was published earlier this month.

Marcos and most of the rest of the Zapatistas largely have remained quiet since the rebel group staged a tour from the jungles of Chiapas to the streets of Mexico City in the name of Indian rights in March 2001.

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