Zapatista leader denounces Mexican presidential frontrunner
Rebel leader slams Mexican presidential hopeful Lopez
Monday, June 20, 2005; Posted: 9:29 a.m. EDT (13:29
MEXICO CITY (AP) -- Zapatista rebel leader
Subcomandante Marcos issued a blistering criticism on
Sunday of Mexico's leftist front-runner in the 2006
presidential race, Mexico City Mayor Andres Manuel
Lopez Obrador, accusing him of being authoritarian and
The rebel leader -- who had previously defended Lopez
Obrador against attempts to knock him out of the
presidential race -- went so far as to compare the
mayor to widely despised former president Carlos
Salinas de Gortari.
"We believe there are the seeds of authoritarianism
and a personal project that goes beyond a single
term," Marcos said of the mayor's administration in a
communique dated June, 2005 "from the mountains of
"The image that Lopez Obrador has created of Carlos
Salinas de Gortari is, in reality, a mirror."
"Unlike what many people think, Lopez Obrador won't
offer a return to the populism of the past," Marcos
wrote, criticizing the mayor for moving toward the
political center. "No, he will offer a 'modern'
administration (which means doing the unfinished work
of Salinas de Gortari)."
Salinas de Gortari left Mexico in disgrace after the
currency and economy crashed following his 1988-1994
term. Lopez Obrador frequently accuses the former
president of being at the center of a vast, shadowy
right-wing conspiracy aimed at preserving his power
long after his term ended.
Marcos led a 1994 uprising by the Zapatistas in
southern Chiapas state in the name of Indian rights.
The movement has long condemned the nation's three
main political parties, including Lopez Obrador's
Democratic Revolution Party.
In a March statement, Marcos opposed efforts to strip
Lopez Obrador of his immunity from prosecution,
calling it a "preventative coup" aimed at keeping the
mayor out of the 2006 race, which he leads in the
But even then he was careful to say he didn't support
Lopez Obrador, whom he described as "left-of-right
(and maybe not even that.)"