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MEXICO: Religion and related groups.

Larry Pippin writes:

"A priest in Los Angeles was interviewed on Univision after the Fox victory and he did not disguise his elation over Fox's triumph. Before the voting the Fox people indicated the constitution would be rewritten. I have heard nothing of it since."

My comment: Religion looms large in Mexican news. Much was made of Fox going to mass in his home area. He was repeatedly shown with his mouth open while the priest put the host on his tongue. He has repeatedly stressed the importance of religion, all religions, even that of non-believers.

The Church has been cautious in its comments. However, they are now saying openly that the assassination of Jesús Posada Ocampo, Archbishop of Guadalajara, was a crime committed to silence a critic of the government's abuses. Dead men tell no tales. In other words, it was not a case of mistaken identity.

There has been little talk about reforming the constitution. Certain clauses will simply become a dead letter. For example, the mass celebrated on the Zócalo, Mexico City's main square and the procession to the Palacio de Bellas Artes was clearly unconstitutional, but no one protested for fear of awakening the sleeping dog of religious war. Memories of the Cristeros!

At the same time, the Church hierarchy has rightly protested against the sale of Indian women in Chiapas. Its capital, San Cristóbal de las Casas, was named after Las Casas, the priest who defended the Indians against government abuses. Indian unrest, another sleeping dog.

Ronald Hilton - 7/18/00