"We did not rise up in arms in order to support a political party, nor to make an electoral change. Our demands are broader than that," declared the leader of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) to the Spanish continuous news channel, CNN+.
"History has shown us that changes in government do not resolve the fundamental problems. The relationships between those governing and the governed have to change," "Marcos" added, who was interviewed in the middle of the jungle, armed, masked and protected by bodyguards.
The situation in Chiapas "is not going to change unless any one of the political forces decide to confront the historic balance that it still has open with the indigenous peoples," he continued, in a serious tone.
"This could be by the PRI, by the PAN or by the PRD," he said, referring to the Institutional Revolutionary Party and their opponents, the National Action Party and the Democratic Revolutionary Party.
"That is why we do not have any favoritism for one of the electoral options," the guerrilla leader said.
"Marcos" said he is "hoping" the zapatista insurrection will end within "less than five years."
"If indigenous rights and culture are recognized within Mexican law, if the demands for the living conditions of the indigenous communities are resolved, here, and if liberty is guaranteed, the military phase of the conflict could be finished."
Lastly, "Marcos" emphasized that government aid for Chiapas does not reach its destination. "What is happening is that all this money is either being diverted by the actions of paramilitary groups, or by the corruption that exists in the Mexican government," he stated.
The EZLN, Without a Favorite for 2000: Marcos
June 12 (AFP) Originally published in Spanish by El Universal _______________________ Translated by irlandesa El Universal Tuesday, July 13, 1999.