Created: 5/5/1994

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Al':er an initial attempt lasl January lo poi down the Chiapas rebellion militarily, the Salmis jdrninistiauoiionciliatory approach aimed al tiuicting Hpolitical critics and reassuring thc international community and financial markets. The governmentnilateral cease-fire onanuary and iiffered to nceouate The rebels, probably hoping toorum and boost their political credibility, agreed to talks mediated by Catholic Bishop Samuel Ruiz.arch, the turn side*entative agreement consisting of Mexico City's responses to J4 EZLN demands The government alieady has made good on some provisions, the most importantackage of electoral reforms apptoved bv Con etc ss onaich^^

Rising Tensions

The failure ovci Ihe pat: Iwo months loefinitive seiilcmrnt is causing growing fncuon involving thc rebels. Army, and local landowners. Thc EZLN. which announced in early March that il was dissatisfied with the government offci. hai threatened new response lo Army activities id the area-patrolling, detaining sospexied icbels. and colleciing intelligence. The seizure of an estimatedOO hec laics ol private land by the EZLN and other peasant groups in fcwni


funhcr heightened unrcsl For their pari. *ome rancher^ and other vested interests in Chiapas rescnl what ihgy!sgc as Mexico' appeasement of Ihethey.have harassment of suspected EZLN members and their supporters,'

Salinas recently ha% redoubled his efforts lo calm anxieties In Chiapas.eeting with cattlemen on IV April, he pledged to restore: order in the tegion and prevent additional land takeovers, according to press reports. One cattleman said thai his jroup supports negotiauom wilh the EZLN. but cautioned that Ihe situation Williand seizures is "cntkaJ' and that some landowners will act io defend their pti^cny. In addition. Meaico City's decision to release lb suspectednd its vnflciliaioty rhetoric may have cauvd thcmood loebel

left" and ihe

uc ofpril announced thc suspension of ihei'--jitinn of discussions within the inoscmem os'er new talks

1 lit thc nasi, landowners have used prtvate armies. calleJ Hnimdui Btancai. to evictII)

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