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The Threat of Chaos
Tim Brown shares my concern about the threat of chaos in Mexico:
From a purely US national security perspective, civil war in Mexico should be our biggest concern. And the Zapatistas are just a tiny part of the problem. I understand there are another 20-21 other guerrilla groups in various stages of preparation, with the Zapatistas the best known but far from the best organized. In Guerrero alone there are more guerrillas than in Chiapas, many trained in Cuba, and supported by secret cells of the state Communist Party.
My comment: There is a paradox. Mexico is booming industrially; it is now the eighth exporting country in the world, and the deal with the European community will help it. At the same time, it is threatened with chaos. One Mexican observed: We are trying to be like Spain, but we may end up like Columbia.
The student strikers who have virtually wrecked the National University of Mexico are a shock force which may be used elsewhere. Individual students may be marvellous, but as a mob they are a major threat. That it why I do not join in the euphoria following Stanford's victory in the Big Brawl last weekend. The police performed admirably in reducing violence from previous levels. Their reward was to be denounced by student editorials and letters as brutal mercenaries. A few students wrote in defense of the police, but, without the police, the hooligans could have won. For political reasons, the Mexican police were prevented from intervening until the strikers had imposed their will. The patient and reasonable university authorities could do nothing against them.
Ronald Hilton - 11/26/99