[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Languages
Last Updated: Thursday, 23 June, 2005, 21:38 GMT 22:38 UK
Zapatista rebels deny attack plan
Zapatista leader Subcomandante Marcos
Subcomandante Marcos hints at change
Mexico's Zapatista rebels have said they do not plan to resume military activity despite putting their forces on red alert earlier this week.

In a statement, Zapatista leader Subcomandante Marcos said the movement was consulting on "something else" - without specifying.

He said the results of the consultation would be made known very soon.

The Zapatista campaign for more indigenous rights has been largely peaceful for more than 10 years.

The rebel group took up arms against the Mexican state in the south-eastern state of Chiapas - Mexico's poorest state - in January 1994, when at least 150 people died in clashes.

Broader agenda?

In a statement on Monday, Subcomandante Marcos sparked concern of a return to violence.

"As of today, the EZLN [Zapatista National Liberation Army] has put the entire rebel-held territory under a red alert," Monday's statement said.

But on Thursday, Subcomandante Marcos said: "We are not, for our part, planning or consulting about a return to offensive military combat."

He indicated that the group may be contemplating broadening its focus beyond rights for indigenous Indians.

"Those who supported us in our exclusively Indian fight can distance themselves, without shame or remorse, from this 'something else'," said his statement.

On Thursday, the Mexican government admitted it had been wrong when it said on Tuesday that marijuana plots allegedly found growing in rebel-dominated areas were actually located in Zapatista territory.

Some analysts said the red alert was a Zapatista measure in anticipation of government raids.



SEE ALSO:
Mexican rebel chief writes novel
20 Dec 04 |  Americas
Mexico calls for rebel dialogue
11 Aug 03 |  Americas
In Pictures: Mexico's Zapatistas
09 Aug 03 |  Photo Gallery
Zapatistas party for the cause
09 Aug 03 |  Americas
Silence in the Mexican south
16 Nov 02 |  From Our Own Correspondent


RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific