• Reuters


Subcommandante Marcos, who led an indigenous uprising in southern Mexico and became one of Latin America’s most prominent revolutionaries, Sunday said he was stepping down as spokesman for the Zapatista rebels and will slip out of public life.

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 avoided public appearances in recent years.

“We have decided that today, Marcos no longer exists,” he wrote in a lengthy statement on the Zapatista website. He said it was his last message as rebel leader.

Marcos denied rumors he is ill, saying he is making way for a new generation to take over speaking for the rebels, who still hold a handful of communities in Chiapas.

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