Mexican Bishops Hail Progress of Rights Law

Zapatistas Don´t Speak for All Indians, Arizmendi Says

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CUAUTITLAN, Mexico, APR. 27, 2001 ( Mexico´s bishops applauded the Senate´s approval of a version of the Law on Indian Rights and Culture, one of the conditions demanded by Zapatista guerrillas to renew peace talks.

At a press conference Thursday, Bishops Luis Morales Reyes, Felipe Arizmendi Esquivel and Héctor González Martínez, representatives of the episcopal Commission for Peace and Reconciliation, said the initiative spells progress in the recognition of the Indians´ dignity.

They noted, however, that the road toward peace in Chiapas has not ended.

A statement, also signed by Archbishop Sergio Obeso Rivera of Jalapa, Coadjutor Bishop Felipe Aguirre Franco of Acapulco and Bishop Florencio Olvera Ochoa of Tabasco, explained that the Church appreciates the significant step taken by the lawmakers.

Asked about the possibility of Zapatista leader Subcomandante Marcos rejecting the law, Bishop Arizmendi said that the Zapatista Army of National Liberation does not represent all the country´s Indians, not even those of Chiapas.

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