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Volume 2, No. 10: June 15, 1997

PRI HEADING FOR A BLACK EYE IN MIDTERM ELECTIONS:

One way or another, the party that has ruled Mexico for seven decades is going to have to take some major hits in the upcoming July 6 elections. Beset by civil unrest, particularly in the southern states of Guerrero, Oaxaca, Chiapas and Tabasco, and unable to pull a battered economy out of the doldrums, the political arm of the "35 families" will have two choices: take some electoral losses, or -- as in the past -- falsify the ballots. (more…)

By Stan Gotlieb, ago
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Volume 2, No. 9: May 15, 1997

INFLATION IS DOWN, BUT STILL AWFUL:

In a report released earlier this month, the Mexican Association in Defense of the Consumer (AMEDEC) declared that the cost of basic necessities had risen over 22% during the year beginning April 1996. While this was a distinct improvement over the previous year's report, it still represents a crushing burden for the Mexican consumer. (more…)

By Stan Gotlieb, ago
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Volume 2, No. 8: May 1, 1997

MEXICO'S LEGISLATORS GIVE THEMSELVES A BIG FAT MAY DAY PRESENT --OR DID THEY?:

On Monday, the national newspaper La Jornada reported that the House of Deputies were about to hand themselves a bonus of 250,000 pesos each, effective when the term ends in August. Since all deputies have to run for reelection, the electorate is bound to regard such a move as a "even if I lose, I win" move. (more…)

By Stan Gotlieb, ago
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Volume 2, No. 7: April 15, 1997

MEXICO IS LOW ON THE FOOD CHAIN, WHETHER YOU'RE TALKING FOOD OR MONEY.

Two items in the Mexico City News caught my attention the other day. The first noted that thousands of tons of strawberries were being allowed to rot on the vine (if you will excuse my mixed metaphor) because a U.S. packing firm introduced hepatitis to strawberries during processing. The other was a box containing one paragraph telling that the U.S. government may be getting ready to push the border between Mexico and the U.S. in the Gulf of Mexico further south. (more…)

By Stan Gotlieb, ago
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Volume 2, No. 6: April 1, 1997

GUESS WHAT DAY IT IS TODAY?

1. In an act of defiant sovereignty, Mexico today announced that it is establishing a permanent resort community in an as-yet-to-be-disclosed northern area, devoted entirely to addicted US citizens. There, along with swimming pools, exercise equipment and all the other accoutrements of five-star vacation living, clients will have access to all the uppers, downers, and mind twisters they want. A source close to the planning process, who wishes to remain anonymous, said "why should we go to all the trouble of shipping drugs North? Why not just keep them here, and take all the profit for domestic projects?" It was reported that the Arellano Felix family had applied for a license but was rejected. (more…)

By Stan Gotlieb, ago
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Volume 2, No. 5: March 1, 1997

SECOND ANNUAL TRAVEL ISSUE: SOUTHERN OAXACA STATE

Depending on how you look at things, the coast of Oaxaca either runs North to South (intuitive but wrong), or East to West (counter-intuitive but right). In February, we decided to explore some familiar, and some new, areas of our State, and our travels took us south and west (to the coast and toward Guerrero). (more…)

By Stan Gotlieb, ago
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Volume 2, No. 4: February 15, 1997

DEM BONES, DEM BONES: DEY IS DEFINITELY WALKIN' AROUND:

Once upon a time, there was this guy named Carlos Salinas, who had an older brother named Raul. Now Carlos, he was the educated one, and Raul, he had the street smarts, and both had had the good fortune to be born into a very very wealthy family, which was good because when they decided to play "executioner" with the maid and real bullets neither one of them had to suffer much in the way of consequences. (more…)

By Stan Gotlieb, ago
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Volume 2, No. 3: February 1, 1997

THE PRI: HUMPTY-DUMPTY OR PHOENIX?

As I have written in the recent past, the ruling Partido Revolucionario Institucional, which has been in power in one form or another since the Revolution of 1910-1919, has been taking some heavy hits. Some (mostly those outside the PRI) say that the world's longest-lasting one-party system is on the ropes. Others point to the series of shakeups that the Party has endured in the past, including the split-off of the Partido Revolucionario Democratico (PRD) and the Partido Acción Nacionál (PAN). What is clear, is that the party's future is uncertain enough that major figures are staging public defections, and that Party leaders are worried enough to start punishing deserters. (more…)

By Stan Gotlieb, ago
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Volume 2, No. 1: January 1, 1997

YOUR CORRESPONDENT'S RESOLUTIONS FOR THE COMING YEAR: *MAKE FEWER PREDICTIONS.

In the last year I predicted the Peso would dive to 12 by the new year. In fact, it has held steady at less than 8. To be sure, everyone is saying that this is artificially high, and that the economy and the level of debt do not justify such a high level of exchange. Nonetheless, it is where it is... I also predicted an all-out effort by the Army to destroy the EZLN, but the warfare continues to be "low level", and aimed mostly at containment of EZLN influence in Chiapas by terrorizing peripheral centers of discontent... Then there was the EPR, which I described as an invention of the government to be used as an excuse for a new wave of repression. It now seems more likely that only some of the incidents blamed on the EPR were actually acts of provocation by PRI stalwarts... (more…)

By Stan Gotlieb, ago