The current circumstances of Zapatista National Liberation Army (Ejercito Zapatista de Liberacion Nacional, EZLN) leader Fernando Yanez Munoz and whether he has taken on other names (2002) [MEX39879.E]

Various reports refer to Fernando Yanez Munoz, an architect by profession from Monterrey, as "Commander German" (Comandante German) of the EZLN, (Reforma 7 Mar. 2001; Texas Observer 30 Mar. 2001; Weekly News Update 15 Apr. 2001). In addition, Yanez has also been described as

the leader of the National Liberation Forces (FLN), the guerrilla organization which eventually gave birth to the EZLN prior to 1994 (Mexico Solidarity Network 22 Feb. 2001).

Moreover, the Weekly News Update mentioned that Yanez had formed the FLN "in a meeting" at his father's house in Monterrey on 6 August 1969 (24 Mar. 2002).

EZLN leaders named Yanez as their representative to Mexico's federal legislature in regard to the development and approval of a law that would recognize indigenous rights (Weekly News Update 25 Feb. 2001; ibid. 15 Apr. 2001; Reforma 7 Mar. 2001; Texas Observer 30 Mar. 2001; The Nation 9 Apr. 2001).

Previous to his role as congressional liaison for the EZLN, the Mexico Solidarity Network reported that Yanez

had kept a low profile since his arrest and subsequent release in October 1995 on charges of illegal weapons possession. His relationship with the EZLN since 1993 has been the subject of much speculation in the media and among those who profited from writing books about the Zapatista insurgency, but little was known about his current participation in the movement (22 Feb. 2001).

In 19 September 2002 correspondence, a representative of the Mexico Solidarity Network reported that Yanez is currently living in Monterrey.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


Mexico Solidarity Network. 19 September 2002. Correspondence with representative.

_____. 22 February 2001. "Zapatista March Begins: Leaders Greeted By Thousands From Chiapas to Puebla." [Accessed 25 Sept. 2002]

The Nation. 9 April 2001. "Zapatistas on the March." [Accessed 24 Sept. 2002]

Texas Observer. 30 March 2001. John Ross. "Whose Indians?" [Accessed 24 Sept. 2002]

Reforma [Mexico City]. 7 March 2001. "Mexico: Possible Impact of EZLN on Left Considered." (FBIS-LAT-2001-0309 7 Mar. 2001/WNC)

Weekly News Update on the Americas [New York]. 24 March 2002. "Mexico: Protests In Monterrey." (NEXIS)

_____. 15 April 2001. "Mexico: EZLN and Government Reps Meet." (NEXIS)

_____. 25 February 2001. "Mexico: Rebels Start March to Capital." (NEXIS)

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