EspañolSubcomandante Marcos, the mysterious masked leader of Mexico’s Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN), announced on Sunday he is stepping down as chief of the rebel movement.
Despite rumors that Marcos suffered from lung cancer, the EZLN declared the announcement is neither due to illness nor the result of any internal purging, but rather a way to promote a new generation of rebels.
Marcos, whose real name the Mexican government believes is Rafael Guillén Vicente, said in a statement: “The voice of the EZLN will no longer come from my voice.”
The Zapatistas took up arms on January 1, 1994 in southern Chiapas, and Marcos became its main figure, writing hundreds of essays and manifestos in favor of indigenous causes. Since then they have been fighting the Mexican army and right-wing paramilitary groups, but largely disappeared from media coverage after the 2006 presidential election.