Democracy in Mexico: Peasant Rebellion and Political Reform

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9780896085084: Democracy in Mexico: Peasant Rebellion and Political Reform

Placing this book in the context of NAFTA and Mexican movements for social change, journalist and historian Dan La Botz unveils the forces behind Marcos and the Zapatista Rebellion of January 1994 and re-examines the circumstances surrounding the assasination of presidential candidate Luis Donaldo Colosio. Contains a detailed analysis of how Ernesto Zedillo and the PRI won the August 21, 1994 elections and includes an examination of widespread electoral fraud. La Botz provides a first-hand account of the founding of National Democratic Converntion (CND), the new force for democracy and social justice in Mexico led by Rosario Ibarra. Ibarra is Mexico's leading human rights activist and first woman presidential candidate.

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From Publishers Weekly:

When Cuauhtemoc Cardenas, opposition leader and son of one of Mexico's most beloved presidents, hit the 1988 presidential campaign trail, it was not unusual for messages like this to be pressed into his hand: "I am ready to take up arms whenever you say, Mr. Cardenas. My family is very poor, and we are prepared to fight for you." Adds LaBotz, "The revolution never ends in the Mexican countryside." Despite the turgid title, Democracy in Mexico is a timely, lucid and readable look at why Mexico is in the fix it is today, shaken by assassinations, threatened by rural rebellion and whirling down the economic toilet. Author LaBotz (Edward L. Doheny: Petroleum, Power and Politics in the United States and Mexico) traces the development of the Mexican political system from the Mexican Revolution to the Chiapas Rebellion, making special effort to explain the development of the one-party system and why so many Mexicans remain mired in hopeless poverty. Where he falls short is in finding a real alternative to the entrenched Institutional Revolutionary Party: a problem Mexican voters face at every election. LaBotz throws his support behind Cardenas and his dismally disorganized and backbiting, leftish party while brushing aside the more viable and increasingly popular conservative PAN (National Action Party). His politics are all too clear, to the detriment of readers looking for a balanced assessment of the Mexican situation. Nonetheless, this important book offers excellent insights into our neighbor and trading partner's painful journey down the twisting path that one day may actually lead to democracy.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist:

January 1994 was not just the beginning of a new year; with NAFTA kicking into operation, it was also the beginning of a new era in the Western Hemisphere. And yet another thing happened that month while happy investors in the Mexican capital sipped champagne and added up future profits. Natives due south rebelled. The state of Chiapas would become the geographic center of a nation's soul in search of itself. LaBotz's very timely book moves quickly, objectively, and passionately; he informs the reader that our neighbors to the south are in deep trouble both economicly and politically--a nation of 86 million with 35 million living in poverty and 17 million in extreme poverty. LaBotz details the history of Mexican political life, particularly its monolithic and morally bankrupt one-party system. He chronicles the emergence of new grass-roots movements that are challenging the ruling powers, leaving us better informed as to the possible choices and future that face the land of Zapata. Recommended for active social and political science collections. Raul Nino

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Dan La Botz
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