Mexican rebel leader Marcos retires, says ‘no longer exists’

Leader of the EZLN Subcomandante Marcos smokes a pipe during opening of the forum in San Critobal de las CasasSubcommandante Marcos, who led an indigenous uprising in southern Mexico and became one of Latin America’s most iconic revolutionaries, on Sunday said he was stepping down as spokesman for the Zapatista rebels and would disappear. The ski-masked, pipe-smoking guerrilla leader became an idol of the anti-globalization movement after he led the 1994 Zapatista rebellion in the southern state of Chiapas, but he had avoided public appearances in recent years. Marcos denied rumors he had become ill, saying he was making way for a new generation to take over speaking for the rebels, who still hold a handful of communities deep in Chiapas. Named for Mexican revolutionary hero Emiliano Zapata, the Zapatista National Liberation Army launched a 12-day battle with the Mexican Army that claimed at least 140 lives, rising up on the day Mexico opened its borders to free trade.

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