Rebel leader slams Mexican presidential hopeful Lopez Obrado
Rebel leader slams Mexican presidential hopeful Lopez Obrador
Monday, June 20, 2005 Posted: 1329 GMT (2129 HKT)
Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador
MEXICO CITY (AP) -- Zapatista rebel leader Subcomandante Marcos issued a blistering criticism on Sunday of Mexico's leftist front-runner in the 2006 presidential race, Mexico City Mayor Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, accusing him of being authoritarian and overly ambitious.
The rebel leader -- who had previously defended Lopez Obrador against attempts to knock him out of the presidential race -- went so far as to compare the mayor to widely despised former president Carlos Salinas de Gortari.
"We believe there are the seeds of authoritarianism and a personal project that goes beyond a single term," Marcos said of the mayor's administration in a com
munique dated June, 2005 "from the mountains of Southeastern Mexico."
"The image that Lopez Obrador has created of Carlos Salinas de Gortari is, in reality, a mirror."
"Unlike what many people think, Lopez Obrador won't offer a return to the populism of the past," Marcos wrote, criticizing the mayor for moving toward the political center. "No, he will offer a 'modern' administration (which means doing the unfinished work of Salinas de Gortari)."
Salinas de Gortari left Mexico in disgrace after the currency and economy crashed following his 1988-1994 term. Lopez Obrador frequently accuses the former president of being at the center of a vast, shadowy right-wing conspiracy aimed at preserving his power long after his term ended.
Marcos led a 1994 uprising by the Zapatistas in southern Chiapas state in the name of Indian rights. The movement has long condemned the nation's three main political parties, including Lopez Obrador's Democratic Revolution Party.
In a March statement, Marcos opposed efforts to strip Lopez Obrador of his immunity from prosecution, calling it a "preventative coup" aimed at keeping the mayor out of the 2006 race, which he leads in the polls.
But even then he was careful to say he didn't support Lopez Obrador, whom he described as "left-of-right (and maybe not even that.)"