Front Page

UK

World

Business

Sci/Tech

Sport

Despatches

World Summary


On Air

Cantonese

Talking Point

Feedback

Low Graphics

Help

Site Map

Tuesday, January 13, 1998 Published at 10:50 GMT



World: Americas

Violence flares at Chiapas massacre protest
image: [ Guadulupe Mendez Lopez is carried away by Zapatista supporters after she was fatally injured by police ]
Guadulupe Mendez Lopez is carried away by Zapatista supporters after she was fatally injured by police

One woman has died after Mexican police opened fire on crowds taking part in an international day of protests to demand that those behind the murder of 45 indigenous people are brought to justice.

Tens of thousands of people took part in marches across Mexico on Monday in protest at the massacre in the state of Chiapas on December 22 last year.

Shooting caught on video

Guadalupe Mendez Lopez, 38 was shot in the stomach, when troops fired into a crowd after coming under attack from stone-throwing Zapatista supporters. Her daughter, Isabel Santis Mendez, 2, was wounded in the left arm.

The victims were part of a group of around 50 who had attended a protest rally in the town of Ocosingo and were walking back to their village nearby when they ran into a police patrol at a gas station shortly after midday.

Federal authorities ordered the army to investigate the incident which was filmed by a television crew. Soldiers arrested a police commander and 26 officers.

International protests

In Mexico City tens of thousands of protesters flooded the main boulevard to condemn the Chiapas massacre and to demand the resignation of the President, Ernesto Zedillo.

There were smaller protests in the United States, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Ecuador.

Investigations continue

About 40 people have been arrested for their alleged involvement in December's massacre. It is widely believed that it was pro-government paramilitaries who entered the town of Acteal and slaughtered Tzotzil Indian refugees, killing mostly women and children.

In the latest shake-up stemming from the massacre, the Mexican government on Monday fired its chief negotiator with the Zapatista guerrillas.

Talks between the government and the guerrillas broke down more than a year ago, although a cease-fire has held.

The dismissal followed the recent resignation of the Interior Minister and the Governor of Chiapas, who is under investigation by the Attorney General amid allegations he knew about the massacre but did not stop it.
 





Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage

©

  Relevant Stories

13 Jan 98 | Despatches
Mexicans protest at Chiapas massacre

26 Dec 97 | World
Arrests in Madrid over Chiapas slaughter

24 Dec 97 | Background
Mexico's peasant revolt

 
  Internet Links

Zapatista supporters' site

The Mexican Government


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.
 
In this section

From Business
Microsoft trial mediator appointed

Safety chief deplores crash speculation

From Entertainment
Taxman scoops a million

Violence greets Clinton visit

Bush outlines foreign policy

Boy held after US school shooting

Memorial for bonfire dead

Senate passes US budget

New constitution for Venezuela

North Korea expels US 'spy'

Hurricane Lenny abates

UN welcomes US paying dues

Chavez praises 'advanced' constitution

In pictures: Castro strikes out Chavez

WTO: arbitration in EU-Ecuador banana dispute

Colombian army chief says rebels defeated

Colombian president lambasts rebels





Americas Contents

Country profiles