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MEXICO: The Real Mexico

Televisa has run an extraordinary program entitled "The Real Mexico." After a section on two Mexican immigrants in Oklahoma who escaped the death penalty thanks to DNA tests and were deported to Mexico, the rest of the program was devoted to "the real Mexico," which dealt with the lawlessness in Mexico. In comparison, US justice seems efficient.

Mexico is a country where the legal system does not work and people take justice into their own hands. Henry Levin and others wonder why I accuse Garcķa Lorca of playing a negative role in the republic. The reason is that he encouraged thoughtless violence. His theatrical group of students went around Spain putting on Lope de Vega's "Fuenteovejuna", in which the people of the people of that village kill the local authority, the comendador, and are pardoned for taking justice into their own hands. These performances contributed to the violent peasant uprisings in 1936 which were a cause of the Civil War.

In the Mexican TV program, a commentator quoted "Fuenteovejuna" as an example of the kind of mob justice which has prevailed in Mexico, but he curiously associated the Church with it. The program ran a long section of events some years ago in a small town called Canoa, where priests accused some students of being communists and therefore possessed by the devil. The priests egged a mob on to take justice into its own hands. This story came on top of the account of the torturing in Puebla province of twelve women who were subjected to terrible tortures by a priest who said they were possessed by devils and that he was exorcising them.

All this added up to an indictment of the Church just was it was gathering strength following the election of Vicente Fox. It is not clear if Televisa, long affiliated with the PRI, was trying to discredit Fox.

Ronald Hilton - 8/04/00