Mexico at 200

Article excerpt

MEXICO D.F. — Lamentably, when the Philppines turned a hundred years old, there was hardly any serious official soul-searching that went on. In fact, two Presidents, Fidel Ramos and Joseph Estrada, who respectively began and ended the celebrations did not dare go beyond the first shot that started a full-blown Philippine-American War.Likewise, many Mexicans are apprehensive not so much about the bicentennial of its anti-colonial independence movement (1810-1821) but of the centennial of the Mexican social revolution (1910-1917). Both of which are being commemorated this year.How will the conservative Partido Accion Nacional (PAN) which is now in power commemorate that earth-shaking watershed of history?When Cuauthemoc Cardenas was appointed to head both celebrations, many Mexicans sighed with relief. Mr. Cardenas is after all son of the late and lamented Pres. Lazaro Cardenas who nationalized the oil industry against all vicious odds and foreign threats and who effectively implemented agrarian reform.Atty. Cuauthemoc also founded the Partido Reforma Democratica (PRD), left of center, to castigate the “dinosaurs” of the political system. Alarmingly, Cardenas has resigned from the Bicentennial Committee and very candidly said that at the official level, current leaders are more concerned with mammoth fireworks displays than figuring out how to put Mexico back on its progressive track. …