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The Future of Mexico
Paul Rich writes from the University of the Americas, in Cholula, near Puebla, Mexico:
"The posting on Mexico City rang a bell. I have been kidnapped twice. Once I was with a businessman in his chauffered car when we were stopped by four men dressed as police. They took everything and then put another man in the car to go with us to use our cards in the cash machine. Although it was morning, he was completely drunk and fell asleep! We drove to the airport and left him at Delta! Of course going to the police would be silly, since our assailants were the police.
The second time, at Sanborns on Reforma I was put in a cab by the Sanborn policeman who was marshaling the taxi line. It was a regular cab with license and picture of the driver, etc. Two blocks from Sanborns the car stopped, a man jumped in with a sharpened long screwdriver, stabbed my teaching assistant, took everything, and dumped us in a dangerous part of the city.
So Medico City is a problem. At UNAM, prior to the disastrous strike, there were marauding bands of students preying on professors and others who looked likely to have cash or other valuables.
But I feel totally safe at University of the Americas and in Cholula, more than in many other places of the world. I have never had even the smallest bit of trouble. I think I am correct to say that there is less trouble at UDLA than at Stanford or Harvard, judging by the police reports. The size of Mexico City or any urban area has a real relationship to the problems.
My comment: I detest big cities, especially when they are out of control, as is Mexico City. Yet in the US trouble now hits even small towns, and it is reported that there are more addicts now in small towns than in large ones, Of course Puebla is officially the city of the angels, so that protection must help. At Stanford we lack that advantage.
Ronald Hilton - 3/5/00