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ON THE RIVERWALK SERVING SANDWICHES TO SEAFOOD, FROM 11:30 UNTIL 11:30 EVERY DAY OF THE WEEK; OPEN TILL MIDNIGH1 IN THE METRO CENTER, SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS complete personal and business Insurance ALICE ANDERSON AGENCY 808-A East 46th P.O. Box 4666, Austin 78765 ANDERSON & COMPANY! COPPICE TEA SPICES TWO JI3PFEBSON SQUARE AUSTIN, TEXAS Mal 51.2 453-1533 Send me your list. Name Street City Zip BED & BREAKFAST CORPUS CHRISTI Take a break from the sameness of motel accom modations. Over 20 listings, many within walking distance of the water. Friendly, hospitable hosts. Breakfasts continental to Texas-size. Rates from $20. Sand Dollar Hospitality, 3605 Mendenhall, Cor Clc.fizleca zo cT; 2600 E. 7th St. Austin, Texas 447-4701 vegetarian food OPEN MONDAYSAll’RDAY 10-6 AND OPEN SUNDAY 10-4 WATSON & COMPANY BOOKS When Mexico’s oil reserves restored the confidence of foreign bankers, however, Lopez Portillo pressed on with “a fiesta of borrowing and spending.” The private sector fell in with him, and, when prices and demand for oil dropped, Mexico was left to renegotiate debt services that oil revenues were to have covered. Lopez Portillo never recognized the end of Mexico’s economic boom and never slowed government spending. His desperate parting shot, an attempt to control capital flight, was the nationalization of private banks. He left his country with the Third World’s largest foreign debt, the peso trading at 135 to the dollar, and 0.2 percent annual growth against an inflation rate of 100 percent. Personally he had fared much better; after six years in office Jose Lopez Portillo was a very rich man. With economic policy in the hands of the austere International Monetary Fund, President Miguel de la Madrid began his sexenio acting on one of a few options left to him. He declared a “moral renovation” and warned that it was not only the petty corruption of policemen and civil servants who supplemented low wages with the mordida that must end. Elected officials who had dipped into the huge currents of public monies created by Mexico’s oil wealth and government spending would also be prosecuted. As de la Madrid took office some believed that he would move directly against Lopez Portillo. But the de la Madrid administration settled for Jorge Diaz Serrano, former director of PetrOleos Mexicanos, who was charged with embezzling $34 million on the purchase of two tankers, and former Mexico City Police Chief Arturo Durazo. On an official salary of $65 per week, Durazo had built a $2.5 million mansion in Mexico City and acquired large real estate holdings in Mexico and the U.S. Others have been prosecuted, but Riding argues that Mexico remains a country where “corruption has been corrupted” and not even large-scale public graft works right any more. In the past, when the country was governed by professional politicians, pilfered monies were often distributed to local political bosses. By this downward trickle, at least part of the public’s money was returned to local economies where it might have done some good. With a generation of technocrats in power, large-scale graft has become something of an accumulative force in an economic system lacking in mechanisms of distribution. Since 1968, Mexican presidents have exercised enormous power, all at considerable cost. Prolonged economic crisis is beginning to wear thin the fabric that holds Mexican society together. The middle class, during the ’70s, envisioned continued upward mobility; now they have lost most gains made ten years ago. Campesinos recognize that their government will not fulfill the promise of the Revolution and redistribute the nation’s farmland. Riding claims that the government is now trapped by the “agrarian myth” that it created. President de la Madrid concedes that only 4.7 million of 101 million hectares of land subject to expropriation remain to be distributed. He has also warned against the common practice of squatting on private land; Riding wonders about the government’s part in the assasination of “several dozen” agrarian reformers in 1984. Urban poor live at the margin of Mexican society, and their number swells as peasants leave the land. No tables or charts are included, but Riding cites statistics sufficient to underscore the magnitude Qf Mexico’s poverty. Among super-marginalized peoples, anthropologists have discovered “generational holes” years during which no children survived. Like growth rings on trees, the absence of human life that might have been serves as a chronicle of social crisis. And we are reminded that not one president since Cardenas has made the redistribution of wealth “the centerpiece of his administration.’ All of this, as Riding sees it, bears heavily on the Partido Revolucionario Institucional, which has governed Mex 26 MARCH 22, 1985