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DATE=10/26/1999 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=MEXICO SECURITY (L-ONLY) NUMBER=2-255507 BYLINE=GREG FLAKUS DATELINE=MEXICO CITY CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: The arrest of four leftist guerrilla leaders in Mexico last week has produced both satisfaction and caution among officials who say the armed groups had plans to disrupt the nation's electoral process. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Mexico City, the danger from such groups is far from over. TEXT: Mexico's Federal Police Chief, Wilfrido Robledo says the Revolutionary Army of the Insurgent People, known by its Spanish initials as the E-R-P-I, had planned to disrupt next year's presidential election. Documents captured by the Mexican army indicate that the insurgents planned attacks here in Mexico City as well as in other parts of the nation with the objective of creating panic and chaos in the electoral process. The group has been linked to several high-profile kidnappings in Mexico, but security expert Jorge Fernandez, speaking in a VOA interview, says that the guerrillas could also be involved in narcotics. /// FERNANDEZ ACT (SPANISH) /// Mr. Fernandez says the E-R-P-I operates in the same part of Guerrero which produces marijuana and the poppies from which heroin is produced. He said this could represent a small-scale version of the link between leftist guerrillas and drug smugglers that developed in Colombia. While the capture of four of the five leaders of the group represents a clear victory for the government, Mr. Fernandez says the threat of further insurgent action still exists. He says the E-R-P-I has a large arsenal of automatic weapons and maintains cells deep in the mountainous terrain of both Guerrero and Oaxaca. He also notes that this is but one of several armed groups operating at this time in Mexico. /// OPT /// The E-R-P-I represents a splinter group from the Peoples Revolutionary Army, or E-R-P, which traces its origins back to the Lucio Cabanas (Loo SEE oh Kah BAHN yaz) insurgent group. This faction operated in Guerrero in the 1970's. The leaders of the Zapatista rebel movement in the southern state of Chiapas were also influenced by that group. Over the past three years, the E-R-P and E-R- P-I have carried out numerous attacks on police and Mexican army units in Guerrero and have appeared in various communities to issue anti-government statements and seek recruits. (Signed) NEB/GF/TVM/PT 26-Oct-1999 19:33 PM EDT (26-Oct-1999 2333 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .





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