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Mexico's Zapatista Rebels Begin Nationwide Tour


Mexico's Zapatista rebels have emerged from their jungle hideout to begin a six-month nationwide tour in a bid to influence this year's presidential elections.

Rebel leader Subcomandante Marcos led the Zapatistas into the city of San Cristobal de las Casas on Sunday riding a motorcycle to the cheers of thousands of supporters.

The rebels plan to visit every Mexican state to build support for the country's indigenous people and the poor ahead of the July vote.

The ski mask-wearing rebel leader - who now wants to be called "Delegate Zero" - says the rebels will avoid big rallies and concentrate on building ties with ordinary workers.

The tour began on the 12th anniversary of the Zapatista's bloody uprising demanding greater rights for Indians, and autonomy for the Chiapas region.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.