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A MOVING EXPERIENCE It’s true. After 15 years in our present location, we’re moving on, reluctantly. And we need your help. A call to arms! Bring your muscles and vehicles we especially need trucks and be assured of an exhaustingly good time. Saturday, October 19, from 10 a.m. until we’re moved. Our new address is 600 W. 28th #105, Austin, 78705. Call 477-0746 to reserve your beer. Or just show up at the old place, 600 W. 7th Street. iAdelante! CONTENTS FEATURES 2 Simpson-Rodino and the U.S. Role in Mexico’s Economy 4 Unearthing the Truth 7 San Antonio Ponders Captive Nations Park 9 Destroying the Forests to Save the Trees 11 Legal Services Witch Hunt Geoffrey Rips Geoffrey Rips Dave Denison Elizabeth Beck James Ridgeway DEPARTMENTS 5 Dialogue 12 Political Intelligence 22 Social Cause Calendar Books and the Culture: 1 Writing to Save the World 15 An Interview with Grace Paley 17 Mercantilism of Death Martha Boethel Martha Boethel Michael King Afterword: 23 I Make a Statement Geoffrey Rips business. The fact is, for the past 100 years Mexico and the United States have been locked in a relationship based on Mexico’s inferior economic position. The monopoly capitalism that dominated United States economics in the late 1800s saw the underdeveloped economic order of Mexico as ripe for the plucking and moved in to take advantage of a country dominated by large landholders but with little means for using its own resources for industrialization. Indeed, border tensions between the United States and Mexico that persisted through the 1870s were immediately eased by Porfirio Diaz’s concessions to American economic penetration. The foundation of Diaz’s power lay in railroad construction, the industrialization it brought, and the connections forged with U.S. capital. The first rail routes built ran north-south, connecting Mexican ore with the United States via five different lines. U.S. and foreign capital financed 15,000 miles of Mexican track, while interests such as Guggenheim and Rockefeller bought up Mexican mineral rights. Diaz’s policies drove many rural Mexicans off their land, creating “landless peasants” and bringing them via the railroads to labor markets, including the American-owned mines in northern Mexico, and later to the expanding agribusiness operations in California and Arizona. In order to keep this labor force, U.S. investors found it in their interests to oppose land reform in Mexico. The Mexican Revolution coupled a rural demand for land reform with an urban middle-class revolt. The fact that business interests, including U.S. business interests, were able to stifle the land-reform component explains in large part why the ary in name only, why Mexico’s economic crisis deepens, and why so many landless peasants come to the United States. While there were some restrictions imposed on U.S. investment after the Revolution and during the tenure of Mexican President Lazaro Cdrdenas, large U.S. investment in Mexico continues unabated. U.S. capital dominates Mexican chemical and electronics industries, department stores, hotels, and food industries \(including large stakes by United Fruit, is one of the top 20 Mexican corporations in terms of capital. It controls, through credit and marketing, the production of cotton in Mexico, providing more credit for cotton than the National Ejidal Bank. Mexican producers sell cotton through Anderson Clayton, Hohenberg International, McFadden, and other U.S. corporations. These corporations control the harvest and provide credit, seed, and fertilizer to cotton producers. According to social historian Raul Fernandez \(The United States-Mexico Border, Clayton has engaged in “cotton dumping” as a way of reminding Mexico who is in control. Anderson Clayton also has large investments in Mexican cattle feed, chocolates, edible oils, seeds, and insecticides. Other sectors of Mexican agriculture are dominated by John Deere, International Harvester, Celanese, Monsanto, Dupont, American Cyanamid, Corn Products, United Fruit, and Ralston Purina. U.S. vegetable distributors control the source of credit for tomato growers in Mexico’s Culiacdn Valley in the state of Sinaloa. Not only have these agribusiness firms from the southwest U.S. benefited from low Mexican wages, but Florida tomato producers complain that they are being undercut. In the petrochemical industry, part of the brief Mexican petroleum boom that was to have signaled Mexico’s economic independence, multinational corporations control 90 percent THE TEXAS OBSERVER 3