MEXICO CITY (AP) — Sen. Manuel Camacho Solis, the man who headed the Mexican government’s peace negotiations with the Zapatista rebels after their 1994 uprising has died at the age of 69.
Mario Resendiz, an aide to Camacho Solis, said the senator died Friday of a brain ailment he had suffered for some time. Local media said it was a brain tumor.
Camacho Solis served as Mexico City’s appointed mayor in the early 1990s, before that post was made an elected position in 1997.
When the leftist Zapatista rebels rose up in arms to demand greater Indian rights in January 1994, President Carlos Salinas tapped Camacho Solis to negotiate peace accords.
After two weeks of armed confrontations, peace talks started.
The Zapatistas have operated in their own autonomous enclaves in the southern state of Chiapas since then.
However, the timing of his appointment as peace negotiator dogged Camacho Solis for years afterward, because his high-profile role was perceived as upstaging the ruling party’s presidential candidate in 1994, Luis Donaldo Colosio. The two had been rivals for the nomination.
Colosio was assassinated early on in the campaign, and Camacho Solis denied ever intriguing against him.
Camacho Solis also served briefly as Mexico’s secretary of foreign relations.
He broke with the ruling party in 1995 and eventually was elected to the Senate for the center-left Democratic Revolution Party.
Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.