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Mexico's Zapatista rebels to field a presidential candidate

FILE - In this July 24, 2007 file photo, masked female members of the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN), sing during a meeting with supporters in Morelia, Chiapas state, Mexico, after the rebels pledged to move away from armed struggle and toward politics more than a decade after a short-lived revolt for Indian rights and socialism. The EZLN announced on Friday, Oct. 14, 2016 its decision to nominate an indigenous woman as their independent candidate for Mexico's presidency, ahead of 2018 elections. (AP Photo/Moyses Zuniga, File)
October 15, 2016 - 11:45 AM

MEXICO CITY - Mexico's Zapatista National Liberation Army says it will choose an indigenous woman as its independent candidate for the country's 2018 presidential election.

The rebels say in a Friday statement they will begin consultations to select the candidate. It did not participate in Mexico's past elections.

The 2018 presidential contest will be the first to allow independent candidates not aligned with a political party.

The Zapatistas rose up on Jan. 1, 1994 in the southern state of Chiapas to demand rights for indigenous people.

The group was known for its leader Subcomandante Marcos, since re-baptized Galeano. He and the other rebels hid their identities with ski masks.

While the rebels never abandoned their arms, they have not used them since the uprising and later signed a peace accord with the government.

News from © The Associated Press, 2016
The Associated Press

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