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(en) Zapatista Supporters Arrested in Norway

From "janice" <janice@ihug.co.nz>
Date Fri, 23 Oct 1998 07:51:54 +0200 (IST)


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OSLO, Oct 22 (AFP) - Norwegian police arrested late Wednesday
nine Norwegians who had occupied the Mexican embassy since
mid-afternoon to show support for the leftist Zapatista rebels in
Mexico's Chiapas province.

   The invaders of the embassy, members of the left-wing Blitz
group, put up no resistance and were taken away handcuffed. They
face a jail term of up to a year or a heavy fine.

   In a statement the nine called on the Mexican government to
respect agreements on Chiapas, release political prisoners and
withdraw troops from the province.

   Ambassador Gustavo Iruegas was not in the embassy, having gone
to the funeral of the Icelandic president's wife in Reykjavik.

   The Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN,) took up arms on
New Year's Day 1994 in Chiapas, where the majority of the population
are Mayan Indians.

   A cease-fire has held since the uprising. But hundreds of
civilians have since died in political violence.

   Direct negotiations with the government broke down in September,
1996 and talks with a mediation group collapsed five months later.



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