Score One for the Indians

Zapatista rebels win government pledges to transform the political and economic climate of Chiapas

The negotiators for the Zapatista National Liberation Army stood ready for betrayal. Through 10 days of talks with the Mexican government, 19 Chiapas rebel leaders kept their faces concealed by masks and bandannas. Their spokesman, the mysterious Subcomandante Marcos, strapped a gun on his hip and slung two bandoliers of cartridges over his shoulder. The precautions proved unnecessary: during round-the-clock talks, the government not only bargained in good faith, but gave in on all but the most outlandish rebel demands. The result was a tentative peace accord that is something of a landmark for Mexico.

"We have found attentive ears willing...

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