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Mexico City

Cathie Pani sends us this: "Mexico City (the Federal District), is divided into 16 precincts(delegaciones), each one with its own head (jefe delegacional) and judicial offices, where you can apply for your driving license, building license, etc. If you have suffered a theft, you must go the the corresponding precinct office and make an official complaint. Previously the head was named by the president in accordance with the mayor of the city, who was also appointed by the president of the republic. The last two city mayors and the present one were elected. Cuauhtemoc Cardenas and Rosario Robles, who were elected, belonged to the opposition PRD, and they appointed their own heads of precincts. Last year, for the first time, the 'jefes delegacionales' were elected by the people who live within each precinct, so now we have delegados from the PRI, PRD and PAN parties. Our mayor, Santiago Creel, was also elected and he is from the PAN. I will try and obtain a map if the city with the different precincts and mail it to you.

The wedding of President Vicente Fox: Gustavo Lugo Monroy, the judge who married Fox, admits that he had violated the administrative code (article 11, fraction 9 of the Civil Registry) by not following the Civil Registry directive, but affirms that the marriage is valid. He was not obliged to inform the Miguel Hidalgo Delegacion. He has followed his own discretion, and legally both Vicente Fox and Marta Sahagun, had fulfilled the required administrative forms.

Since the first Mrs. Fox was married in a Cathilic ceremony and the marriage has not been anulled, she has told anyone and everyone who will listen, the she is Mr. Fox's only wife. She is very close the Padre Maciel, head of the Legionarios de Cristo, who are very strong in Mexico and have taken over most of the parochial schools (the Jesuits had left undergraduate eduacation) and have 2 universities (Anahuac). She is very put out that her husband remarried even though they have been divorced for many years."

My comment: Pani is Cathie's married name. It rang a bell, so I checked in the Mexico section of Who's Who in Latin America. Which I prepared on the basis of a 1944 stay in Mexico, and sure enough I found the entry for Mario Pani, an architect born in 1911. I remember a conversation with him. My guess is that Cathie's husband is related to him. Cathie is the niece of that pillar of WAISdom, Jaqui White. When, a year or two ago, Jacqui and I had an e-debate about the merits of the eagle and the wild turkey as the American national bird, Jaqui, an eagle fan, sent me a small statue, or whatever you would call it, of one. Les Robinson, in order to ensure a balanced presentation, sent me a slightly bigger one of a wild turkey; It was the domestic wild turkey, not the Mexican edible one, that Ben Franklin wanted to be the national American bird, instead of the less benevolent eagle. Les also wrote an amusing poem about the eagle versus turkey debate. Both birds are on display in the Aula Minima of "The Hesperides", with the poem between them. It is regrettable that neither bird has any sense of humor.

Now for Mexico City. It is possibly the largest city in the world, with equally big problems. The reform of the city constitution has had a negative impact in that in the past the national government and the city government worked harmoniously together, but now they can be and are of different parties with the resulting conflict of ambitions and jurisdictional claims. In view of the high crime rate in Mexico City, it is especially unfortunate that control of the various police forces is divided. Santiago Creel is actually the national minister of the interior, not mayor of Mexico City, but it is easy to assume that he is. I shall be most grateful if Cathie can find a map showing the city's divisions, each of which has its own character. It is difficult to understand why Tepito, a district very much in the news, does not appear on any of my maps. Is it officially a precinct?

As for the Fox marriage, it is his problem, but it has political and legal implications. Since the Catholic Church does not recognize divorce, the first vixen is still his only wife. Did they get a divorce? I believe that in Mexico, as in France, a civil marriage is required for a church marriage to be recognized by the state. Fortunately (?), Mexico is well supplied with lawyers. As for religion in Mexico, there will be a separate posting on that.

Ronald Hilton - 8/3/01