Page last updated at 21:40 GMT, Sunday, 1 January 2006

In pictures: Zapatistas on the move

Marcos rides through La Garrucha Zapatista village in southern Mexico

Mexico's enigmatic Zapatista rebel leader Marcos roared off on his motorbike at the start of a national tour to build support for his leftist movement.

Zapatistas on board bus in La Garrucha before leaving on tour

Masked Zapatistas clambered on board buses and other vehicles before the ramshackle convoy set off on the tour, billed as an alternative to presidential elections.

Zapatistas in the convoy

The rebels are shunning the elections, which they denounce as corrupt, but want to draw attention to their own campaign for Indian rights and socialism.

Zapatista clings to vehicle

People clung to lorries and buses as the convoy pulled out of the Zapatista southern village of La Garrucha, on a journey due to take in all 31 Mexican states.

Zapatista rebels in La Garrucha

The Zapatistas have their stronghold in the southern state of Chiapas, but want to build broader support.

Women Zapatistas salute in La Garrucha

Women were among those taking part in ceremonies in La Garrucha before the exodus on 1 January.

Girl sits next to a mural of Che Guevara in La Garrucha

La Garrucha was chosen to launch the tour exactly 12 years after the Zapatistas seized a number of towns in a brief uprising...

Girl with mural in La Garrucha

But the Zapatistas say they are now shunning violence and turning towards a future in politics instead.




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