High hopes were raised when Vicente Fox Quesada of the National Action Party (PAN) was elected President of Mexico in July 2000. After three years of inaction, the possibility that the nation's stalled peace process might once again recommence suddenly seemed plausible. With the announcement in December 2000 by the rebel Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) of three preconditions prior to any dialogue taking place, a clear trajectory was set. Four months later, however, all contact with the rebels had been broken and once again Mexico's peace process was in jeopardy. This article recounts the brief history of talks to date and explains how the current impasse has been reached. Identifying both prospects and challenges for any future peace deal, the author calls for greater international vigilance and understanding of a conflict with significant political and ethical implications.