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     The National University of Mexico (UNAM) continued to be plagued by a relentless group of strikers. They invaded a hall in the Law School where a meeting with peaceful students was taking place, insulted the professors and forced them to escape by an underground passage. When they emerged, the strikers attacked them again.
     The university officials were afraid to take a hard line, since they did not know how much support they would get from national and local authorities. The concern was that UNAM has lost its reputation as a serious institution, and it was proposed to have an outside body, CENEVAL, assess its operation and standards. Faced by protests from the strikers, the authorities withdrew the proposal.
     There was a growing sense that the country was out of control. In addition to the continuing unrest in Chiapas, there was the gangster problem among the border with the U.S., culminating in the assassination of a Tijuana judge. The State Department certified that Mexico was complying with the drug control regulations, but Mexican satisfaction was tempered by the complaint that the U.S. did not submit itself to the same certification process. U.S. Ambassador Jeffrey Davidow made a blunt speech in good Spanish comparing Mexico with the Sicilia of the mafia. There were the usual protests about the insult to Mexican sovereignty, with tacit admission that he was telling the truth.

Ronald Hilton - 3/3/00