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Mexico is probing the alleged creation of a rebel group in the troubled southern state of Guerrero that is calling on people to take up arms against the government, the government said Monday.
Hooded men carrying rifles and handguns went before reporters Sunday in an undisclosed location in that state, and announced the creation of a group they called the Revolutionary Armed Forces-People's Liberation, media outlets reported.
A statement issued by the group called President Enrique Pena Nieto's government repressive. Last Sunday he completed his first year in office.
"There is no day like today to declare war," the statement read.
A spokesman for the Mexican attorney general's office said a probe will be launched to determine if such a group actually exists.
In its statement, the alleged rebel group accused the government of killing environmental activists, student and rural leaders and other community activists. It demanded the release of detained leaders of self-defense groups in the state saddled with violence.
The group criticized education reforms unpopular with teachers and a proposed energy reform that it said would surrender Mexico's oil wealth to foreigners.
The statement was read out by a supposed rebel leader.
Guerrero is home to the resort city of Acapulco but is also one of Mexico's poorest and violence-plagued.
Small rebel groups have been active in the state for decades.
In 1996 one emerged that called itself the People's Revolutionary Army and said it followed Marxist ideology. Its last known attack was in 2007 when it blew up several oil pipelines, although no one was killed.
Guerrero is also home to armed self-defense groups and drug cartels.