Information on the family members of Sub-Commander Marcos, their names and occupations and on whether he has a sister who is an elected official of and/or associated with the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) [MEX30006.E]

Information on the family members of Sub-Commander Marcos, their names and occupations could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate. Please note that the website of the National Commission for Democracy in Mexico, an organization devoted to supporting the EZLN in the United States, reports that "the government claims to have 'identified' Marcos as Rafael Guillen; Marcos and the EZLN have denied this. (20 August 1998)"

Le Monde Diplomatique also reports that as of March 1995, the real identity of Sub-Commander Marcos had not been confirmed and that he denied being named Rafael Sebastian Guillen (March 1995).

The following information was obtained during a 20 August 1998 telephone interview with the director of Convergencia de Organismos Civiles por la Democracia (COCD) in Mexico City. This non governmental organization is an umbrella group for 150 other NGOs working in 17 states of Mexico, including 15 NGOs present in the state of Chiapas. The director is also a member of the follow-up committee of the San Andres Accords between the government and the Ejercito Zapatista de Liberación Nacional (EZLN).

The director stated the following concerning the Sub-Commander Marcos

The supposedly real identity of Sub-Commander Marcos as being Rafael Sebastian Guillen Vicente, his place of birth and the number of his relatives is information issued by the federal government which is based on an intelligence report from the Mexican security services. To this day, this information has not been corroborated by any independent source, whether journalistic or non governmental. Marcos'real name is still unknown and I doubt that you can find in Mexico an individual or an organization that has that information. I was closely associated with the negotiations between the federal governement and the Zapatistas initiated by the 1996 San Andres Accords, and I do not know what is Marcos' real identity, whether or not he has relatives or where he comes from.

However, a 7 August 1998 Houston Chronicle newsbrief reports that

Paloma Guillen is the sister of the man, Rafael Sabastian [sic] Guillen, identified by the government as Subcomandante Marcos, leader of the Zapatista rebels. The ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party has named Paloma Guillen, a former local legislator as its candidate for deputy for the 15th district based in Tampico [state of Tamaulipas]. Guillen said she will not discuss her relationship with her brother, and her family says it has no involvement with the rebels.

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.


Convergencia de Organismos Civiles por la Democracia (COCD), Mexico City. 20 August 1998. Telephone interview with director.

The Houston Chronicle. 7 August 1998. "Candidate Focus of Rumors." (NEXIS)

Le Monde Diplomatique. March 1995. Maurice Lemoine. "Le Mexique en guerre au Chiapas." [Internet] (Consulted on 20 August 1998)

National Commission for Democracy in Mexico. [Internet] (Consulted on 20 August 1998)