Mexican Bishops Willing to Meet With Guerrillas

Morales Reyes Urges «Listening to All Sides»

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MEXICO CITY, MAR. 1, 2001 ( Mexican bishops are willing to meet with guerrilla leader Subcomandante Marcos when he arrives in Mexico City this month.

Archbishop Luis Morales Reyes, president of the Mexican episcopate, told the press that the country´s Catholic hierarchy is willing, if conditions so dictate, to meet with the leader of the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN).

Leaders of the EZLN are now marching from the southern state of Chiapas to present demands to the government.

The archbishop revealed that he and the other five bishops, who make up the episcopal Commission for Peace and Reconciliation in Chiapas, previously have tried to get in contact with the Zapatista leadership, to no avail.

The commission, presided over Archbishop Morales Reyes, has made eight official visits to Chiapas, to evaluate the situation of the Indian communities and the Catholics of the troubled state.

In statements published by the newspaper El Universal, Archbishop Morales Reyes praises President Vicente Fox´s willingness to dialogue with the Zapatistas. The guerrillas, the archbishop concluded, must realize that consensus is reached by «listening to all sides.»

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