Armed Indian peasants battle Mexican army soldiers

By ANITA SNOW – Associated Press – January 03 1994

SAN CRISTOBAL DE LAS CASAS, Mexico (AP) – Armed Indian peasants battled army soldiers Sunday on the second day of an uprising in one of Mexico’s poorest states. The Indians took over three towns near the Guatemalan border, and dozens were reported dead.

The worst fighting occurred in Ocosingo, after government troops were attacked by rebels. The Chiapasstate governor’s office in a statement late Sunday said 57 people – 30 soldiers and police, 24 rebels and three civilians – had been killed in Sunday’s fighting. At least eight died in fighting Saturday.

The rebels claimed they were from the Zapatista Army of National Liberation, a previously unknown group named for the Mexican hero Emiliano Zapata. They said they were protesting abuses by the authorities against Lacandon Indians in the region and unspecified foreign economic domination.