Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Venezuela's Chavez backing leftist guerrillas in Mexico

A leftist guerrilla movement responsible for many kidnappings and attacks inside Mexico is secretly receiving funding from Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, U.S. and Mexican intelligence officials told The Washington Examiner.

The group, called the Ejercito Popular Revolucionario (EPR), is "a terrorist organization bent on destabilizing Mexico. ... Splinters of the group are also adding to the problem," said a Mexican official who requested anonymity. The group, which announced its existence in 1996, claimed responsibility for the 2007 bombings of the Mexican government's Pemex oil pipelines, along with several other bombing attempts of a bank and Sears department stores in cities throughout Mexico.

"Chavez has been funding groups like these in Mexico and throughout Latin America," said a U.S. official with knowledge of the group and its operations. "These groups are nothing more than terrorist organizations and members have connected to other narco-trafficking organizations in Mexico, creating a very dangerous matrix."