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Mexican Peasant Group Leader Killed

March 17, 1998

ACAPULCO, Mexico (AP) _ A peasant leader was shot to death in southwestern Mexico several weeks after authorities identified him as a suspect in the killings of four-ruling party supporters, his colleagues said Monday.

Santiago Luna Zamora was found with a bullet wound in his head Sunday afternoon in the village of Tepetixtla, the likely target of pro-government paramilitary groups, said Jose Sanchez Sanchez, an official in the Peasant Organization of the Southern Mountains.

The group is best known for the massacre of 17 of its members by police on June 28, 1995.

Sanchez Sanchez said Luna Zamora apparently had been returning from work in his fields when he was killed.

The state attorney general had said Luna Zamora was a suspect in the Feb. 22 deaths of four ruling-party members in the same village.

Sanchez Sanchez said by naming him, the attorney general ``practically pointed his finger at him, telling paramilitary groups to kill him.″

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