A TOP CHURCH OFFICIAL in the Mexican Diocese of San Cristobal de las Cases said a date would soon be set for a new round of peace talks to resolve the four-month-old rebellion in Chiapas state.
"There is a firm resolve on both sides to continue with the dialogue," said Fr Gonzalo Ituartc, the diocesan VicarGeneral. He said there have been recent contacts between government negotiators and representatives of the Zapatista National Liberation Front. Bishop Samuel Ruiz Garcia of San Cristobal de Las Casas has served as a mediator in the talks.
The Vicar-General added that the diocese supports the social justice and reform demands being made by the Zapatistas, although it does not support the armed uprising the rebels used to promote those demands.
But the consulting process was broken off after the assassination of the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party candidate, Luis Donald Colosio, in March.
• MEXICO'S JESUITS HAVE
taken the unprecedented step of attempting to sue a national daily newspaper for libel over a story that identified a member of the order as a rebel leader.
The legal action stems from an 8 April report in the Daily Summa which alleged that the mysterious "Marcos", the near-legendary leader of the rebel Zapatista National Liberation Army in Chiapas, was Jesuit Fr Jeronimo Hernandez Lopez.