Back to Index

MEXICO: The Ongoing Argument

The arguments go on an on as Marcos and his army enter Mexico City's main square today, Sunday March 11. One argument concerns the help or lack of it given to Indians by white Mexicans. Both Fox and Marcos, both white, decry the failure of their fellow Mexicans even to recognize the plight of Mexican Indians. Bienvenido Macario, who agrees with Miles Seeley, thinks this attitude is mistaken. He says "Linda and those supportive of Marcos know full well that there have been so many attempts by educated middle class Mexicans to organize, lead and champion the rights of the less fortunate people in an already unfortunate neighbor south of the border". My own impression that Fox knows what he is talking about, but there is also the strange incapacity of Indians to learn from example. Many of them live in or close to bustling cities, but the enterprising spirit these embody does not seem to rub off on the Indians-

The second argument concerns the plight of the Indians. In such disputes, each side proclaims the happiness of its people, and the misery of the other's. During the Cold War, US propaganda played up the good life of Americans and the misery in which Russians lived, while the Soviets returned the compliment. Fox and Marcos stress the misery of the Indians. Indians do not like being photographed, and in many Indian communities it was forbidden. For the first time, some southern Indian villages, presumably instructed by Marcos, have allowed photographers, many foreign, accompanying the Zapatour to photograph them. My own impression from travels throughout Mexico is that there is much more misery than some people would like to admit. One thing is certain, namely that a new revolutionary war would increase that misery, at least for some time.

Ronald Hilton - 3/11/01