89 Arrested for Chiapas Protest
Mar. 08, 1998
SAN CRISTOBAL DE LAS CASAS, Mexico (AP) _ Police and army troops in southern Chiapas state arrested 89 rebel sympathizers Friday in a protest at a local jail that led to the escape of 46 inmates.
Police have not captured any of the inmates who fled Thursday from Ocosingo jail, 40 miles east of San Cristobal de las Casas.
The jailbreak came after protesters from the National Lombardist Union, a labor group that sympathizes with Zapatista rebels, forced their way into the jail while protesting the army presence in Chiapas.
Prisoners took advantage of the confusion to steal machetes and hack open locks.
The union denied it was responsible for the escapes and said some of its members had been beaten by police.
Police said they found seven M-1 rifles in the union's offices.
Zapatista rebels rose up in arms in 1994, demanding greater democracy and Indian rights.