A From the cover of The Annexation of Mexico Juan Ramon Martinez Leon/ La Guillotina anti-democratic dynasty that no other party could challenge. Within the party a “perfect democracy” autocratically controlled through carefully rigged elections each new presidente was PRI-designated by the outgoing president. In the 1950s, the initiation of the Cold War would define all relations between the U.S. and other countries in the hemisphere. The successive Mexican governments eagerly deferred to Washington in combating “communism” and allowed U.S. security freely within Mexican borders. Following the Cuban revolution of 1959, there was considerable sentiment in Mexico in favor of the Castro regime, but the governments of Adolfo Lopez Mateos and Gustavo Diaz Ordaz made pronouncements of friendship with Cuba, while continuing to allow American counterrevolutionary operatives free access to Mexico. It was a public relations dream: a seemingly progressive foreign policy providing cover for an increasingly repressive domestic policy. In August 1968, the year of the Mexico City Olympics, university students rose against the repression and went on strike in support of social reform. The Diaz Ordaz regime, terrified that the students might disrupt the Olympics, ordered out the troops. On October 2, the Mexican police and military \(under the guidance of the C.I.A., as mately 300 students at the Plaza of Three Cultures near Tlateloloco. As C.I.A. agent later wrote, “The student rebellion had been a spontaneous popular demonstration against political violence and the PRI’ s power monopoly.” The massacre marked a turning point in contemporary Mexican history, toward increasingly repressive state politics. But it also inaugurated a wave of courageous struggles for justice on political, labor, and religious fronts, all inspired by the cry, “Dos de octubre, No se olivide!” During the past two decades, the more sophisticated process of annexation has turned on the question of con trol: who shall have control, the U.S. and its governmental clients, or the Mexican peo ple? Ross addresses this question in the chapter entitled “The War on Drugs: Whose National Security?” The success of recent techniques for annexing Mexico rests most importantly upon convincing Mexicans that their “national security” is equivalent to the “national security” of the North Americans, as that term is defined by the White House and State Department. Today, the main conundrum in U.S.-Mexican relations is “drugs.” But “drugs” in Mexico today doesn’t imply so much the using of drugs \(where rather the laundering of drug money. Money laundering through Mexican banks is now such an enormous business that it sustains whole sectors of the Mexican economy. Without drug money currently valued at $25 billion in liquidity the whole economy would long since have gone bellyup. This is why Mexican assassinations, corruption, and NAFTA all have their drug connections. During his October 1995 state visit, U.S. Secretary of Defense William Perry spoke of “a new era of political, economic, and military cooperation. ” Perry added, “We must redefine the role of the military in the Americas,” by which he explained that we must “redirect” our military attention to Department claims that its vastly increased military aid, equipment, training, and funding is used exclusively to counter drugtrafficking. In fact, during that very year tensity warfare” against the Zapatistas. Much of this U.S. aid, including aircraft given or sold to Mexico, is now being used against the Indians in Chiapas. Militarization became increasingly important after the stock-market crash in December 1994, because the crash triggered an im MARCH 27, 1998 20 THE TEXAS OBSERVER
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