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President Clinton's visit to Mexico brought out the realities of the Mexican approach toward the United States, which is viewed much as colonial Spain is in the politically-correct version of Mexican history. This despite the fact that Mexico wants U.S. dollars, and Clinton brought five billion.
There is some excuse for Mexico's resentment of the U.S. certification process, but little for its misrepresentation of U.S. border policies. What Mexico would like is an open border for Mexicans, among other reasons so that the burden of the poor could be shifted to the United States. Any border incident is magnified into an act of U.S. brutality. In the main square of Merida 350 crosses were erected to honor that number of illegal immigrants allegedly killed as the result of Operation Guardian introduced by Clinton.
There are several paragovernmental organizations which put out the propaganda which the government cannot issue publicly. One is the Commission for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights. Mexicans despise the chicanos, but there is a Permanent Seminar for Chicano and Frontier Studies.
All this is against a background of desperate measures to alleviate poverty. There is a move to have a casino and gambling in Mexico City so as to attract American tourists, and Acapulco is planning an imitation of Rio's carnival; the poverty of Guerrero state is like that of the real Brazil behind the carnival facade.
Ronald Hilton - 03/06/99