World News

Mexican senator wants talks with pipeline bombers

A Mexican soldier looks at a fire caused by an explosion at a gas pipeline belonging to state oil monopoly Pemex near Maltrata in the eastern Mexican state of Veracruz, September 10, 2007. REUTERS/Imelda Medina

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - A senator from Mexico’s ruling party on Wednesday proposed talks with the leftist rebel group Popular Revolutionary Army, or EPR, which bombed fuel pipelines last week.

The EPR bombed state oil monopoly Pemex’s pipeline network in six places last week, the second attack since July, cutting off natural gas to thousands of factories, disrupting oil refining and costing Mexico hundreds of millions of dollars.

The Marxist group has vowed to continue its actions until the government releases two activists it says were captured in May in the volatile southern state of Oaxaca.

The government denies the pair are in state custody.

“Congress could be a vehicle to allow this group to sit down and talk, to begin to make agreements,” said Ulises Ramirez, a senator from President Felipe Calderon’s National Action Party and head of the Senate security commission.

“We are going to tell all the Senate about our intention to create a commission that could be the key to opening the door to dialogue,” he said.

Mexico’s Attorney General Eduardo Medina Mora has called the EPR “terrorists” and says the group finances itself with ransom money from kidnapping.

Mexico is a major oil supplier to the United States, which relies on it as a politically stable source.