Courtesy Reuters

The New-Old Crisis in Mexico

RESIDENTS in Mexico City tumbled from their beds early one morning just before last Christmas to find windows rattling, candelabra swaying and curtains streaming before an imperceptible wind. It was the beginning of a series of grave earthquakes. An American friend, long resident in Mexico, said to me at the time: "This is nothing to the other earthquake which is coming. You outsiders can't be expected to perceive the premonitory tremors under the political and economic crust. But we older residents do. We know that we are sitting on a perch far more dangerous than Popocatepetl; for Popo's extinct, whereas Mexican polity and economy are very shortly going through the roof."

Since then, something very like a major political and economic earthquake has indeed rocked Mexico, and brought that country into the forefront of world affairs. It is not simply that sixteen foreign-owned Mexican oil corporations have suddenly been expropriated and taken over by the Mexican Government; nor that Mexico's second largest industry -- the production of oil -- stands paralyzed before a grim future; nor that in consequence her largest industry -- the mining of precious and non-ferrous metals -- faces serious losses; nor that the United States Treasury has countered the abrupt collapse in the Mexican peso by discontinuing its agreement of last December to buy newly-mined Mexican silver; nor, finally, that the Mexican Government has broken diplomatic relations with Great Britain. It is rather that during the last four or five years Mexican politics and economics have been steadily approaching one of those periodic crises which, at periods roughly a generation apart ever since the secession from Spain nearly 120 years ago, have regularly racked the country. The texture of the Republic's history is shot through with the violent hues of revolution, civil war, military dictatorship, xenophobic explosions (generally ending in military defeat and loss of Mexican territory), internecine party feuds, domestic corruption in the grand manner, and the perversion of administration and law by men with overweening personal

Loading, please wait...

Related Articles

This site uses cookies to improve your user experience. Click here to learn more.