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Tom Marks forwards this translation of an article in the centrist El Universal of Mexico City:
According to military intelligence investigations, the "breakaway groups" from the EPR [People's Revolutionary Army] that have created the ERPI [Insurgent People's Revolutionary Army] and the FARP [Revolutionary Armed Forces of the People] are not the only ones one that have broken away from this armed group.
The problem, say military sources, is determining with precision if these are actually real divisions brought about by political and ideological differences, or if they are part of a strategy designed to create the impression that the EPR is a larger and more powerful organization than it actually is.
On the latter point, the military sources consulted said that the EPR is a much smaller group than the EZLN [Zapatist National Liberation Army]. However, it seems more willing to clash directly with the Army [than the EZLN is], although it has been doing so in a more sporadic and evasive manner as time goes by.
"We have to make it clear that neither the EZLN nor the EPR nor any other subversive group represents any threat or danger to the Armed Forces," they added.
In the meantime, while authorities and politicians in the capital describe the appearance of guerrilla groups or cells in Mexico City as a government-sponsored "publicity stunt" to attract the "fear vote," the PFP [Federal Preventive Police], the Mexican Army, and the Cisen [Center for Investigation and National Security] are continuing to try to identify with accuracy the real extent of supposed subversive groups like the Villista People's Revolutionary Front (FVPR) or the FARP.
According to the Federal Preventive Police, the appearance of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of the People can be explained--as can that of the ERPI--by the serious political, ideological, and operational differences existing among the historic leaders of the EPR. The EPR emerged after it evolved and broke away from PROCUP [Clandestine Revolutionary Workers Party-Union of the People].
That organization itself was the product of changes and shifts that took place among the ranks of the PDLP [Party of the Poor], the political arm of the guerrillas led by Lucio Cabanas in Guerrero.
However, according to Mexican Army analysts, the appearance of the FARP is only a mutation of the EPR itself which, as a subversive group, has at least been combative and maintained an effective armed presence.
As proof of this the Army analysts cited the over 30 military troops that have been ambushed by EPR groups since 1997.
According to the Cisen, the FARP emerged as a result of a process of recomposition among the subversive groups. The EPR actually does seem to exercise leadership among these groups, based on its offensive capability and on its determination to uphold its thesis of a Prolonged People's War as a tactical weapon to obtain power.
The three security organizations consulted by El Universal do agree on one point: whether artificially or as part of a real strategy, appearances of these guerrilla groups, like the FARP's recent appearance, will be repeated at least until the last week of June of this year.
Ronald Hilton - 4/16/00