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Van Horn Advocate


Wednesday, Sept. 10, 1997

Loose Fish

By Greg Harman

Recent Mexican elections
give a reason to celebrate

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This coming weekend we celebrate the ringing cry and spontaneous action of one of the best-loved fathers of Mexican independence: Don Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla. We celebrate an independence that has been hard won and come in many waves of revolution. History is cruel setting itself in mortar as it passes us by in that the man who spurred the people's revolution on that famous day of diez y seis, Sep., 1810, and fired to life a fierce momentum toward justice and democracy that is still playing itself out in the forefront of Mexican politics, later regretted inspiring so much bloodshed.

(An interesting figure Hidalgo, tried under the inquisition for several offences he read banned books, for one, and questioned the infallibility of the Pope he was shipped off to Dolores as a disciplinary action).

The revolution that led to Mexican Independence has not ended. In the same year which saw the celebration of 100 years of independence there was a new liberator on the scene: Emiliano Zapata. Rosa King, an Englishwoman living in Cuernavaca, described Zapata's entrance into her city as follows: "No Caesar ever rode more triumphantly into a Roman city than did the chief, Zapata, with Asunsolo at his side, and after them their troops a wild-looking body of men, undisciplined, half-clothed, mounted on half-starved, broken-down horses." Another people's revolution was at hand in 1910, aimed at laying low the dictatorship and placing Madero in the president's chair.

"Zapatista por Tierra y Libertad" read a t-shirt in a South Texas coffee shop, complete with Zapata's face emblazoned across the back. The support for what has attempted to be this decade's people's revolution, spear-headed by the EZLN (Zapatista Army of National Liberation), has caught fire in the grass roots of Mexico and beyond. No matter what side of the issue you fall on regarding the EZLN's methods, the fact remains that a genuine social revolution is still in progress in Mexico. It was just a few years ago that nearly 100,000 people marched to show support for the Zapatistas, led by the popular figure Super-Barrio, in Mexico City.

In an interview with Subcomandante Marcos, one of the more visible leaders of the EZLN, given in January of '94 to the Italian paper L'Unita, Marcos stated that the movement had "no confidence in either the political parties or the electoral system . . . this illegitimate government will necessarily produce illegitimate elections." This corruption, unfortunately, has been the case in the past and one of the very reasons that PRI (the Institutional Revolutionary Party) has maintained an untouchable rule for nearly 70 years. This all changed with the last election.

On July 6, this year, Mexico held the cleanest elections in its history. As a result, PRI lost its long coveted majority in the lower house of Congress, and Cuauhtemoc Cardenas, founder of the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), was elected as the new Mayor of Mexico City. Mexico has officially entered a new world of political pluralism.

My wife and I had the opportunity to be in Mexico City and witness the excitement over the elections. Although these elections were still weeks away, we were overwhelmed by the banners and the chanting, the color and activity, the elections were causing. Everyone seemed involved. I spoke with several cab drivers and all told me the same thing: "70 years is too long. It is time for a change." And change it did.

Here in the States we could learn a lot from Mexico's example: despite the long road of corruption and injustice, the Mexican people have actively labored to work towards a just society. The depressive condition here in this country, where so few of us even bother to vote in local, state, or national elections, could benefit greatly if we began examining the virulent strains at work in Mexico's political landscape.

Mexican analyst Adolfo Aguilar Zinser has called the recent elections in Mexico "the most important elections of the 20th century for [Mexico]." It may be vital to our own nation's well-being that we begin to pay attention. In view of the recent elections down south, it truly is a time to celebrate. "Mexicanos, Viva Mexico!"

Editor's Note: Greg Harman is a Pecos Enterprise Staff Writer whose column apprears on Wednesdays.

Your Views

Country music requested for concerts in Pecos

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To the Editor:

I read in the paper yesterday where the bands for the fall concert were announced. Once again for as long as I can remember it is Tejano music. There is nothing wrong with Tejano music.

Some people would like to see some country music come to the fall concert. Think about this: one year have Tejano music and the next year have country music.WALLACE PERKINS

Your Views

Band budget cuts hurt the students the most

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To the Editor:

In April of this year all school personnel were asked to prepare a budget for th 1997-98 school year. We presented these budgets to the business office and made a short presentation to the superintendent, business manager and school board members who showed up (none were present). I presented a band budget that was over $1,000 less than the budget for school year 1996-97.

In August of this year I was notified that I needed to cut the band budget again. We were told that everyone would be making sacrifices. Once again I cut the band budget by about $8,000. An article in your newspaper told how everyone contributed to making a budget the school district could work with to make ends meet. In all I cut $8,750 from the 1997-98 budget that I used in 1996-97.

At the board meeting on Aug. 28, the school board gave back to the athletic department $67,000 that they had requested. Every department in the school district gave up needed equipment, supplies, and other teaching materials so the athletic department could get all of the funds back that were previously cut. Where is the justice in this world today!!

Teachers in the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD are among the lowest paid teachers in the state of Texas (state base). Maybe this is why all of the good teachers the district has employed in the past are moving to other districts. We, as teachers, are here to teach students to be a success in life. Whether it be in an academic class or in an extra-curricular class, our students deserve an education that will provide them the opportunity to be a success in life and be able to provide for themselves. There is a growing concern among administrators and teachers about the difference in salary around our school district. Several teachers are required to do extra duty outside of the class day and are not being compensated for it but other teachers are being compensated to do the same extra duties.

I must apologize to my students that I did not attend the board meeting last Thursday night. I should have been there to ask that the money I "cut" from my budget to be returned to our department. I was doing my extra "not paid" duty in the band hall so our students would be prepared for the first football game. This extra rehearsal was called by the students, not by the directors. I guess "I still don't know how to play the game."


Pecos Enterprise
Mac McKinnon, Publisher
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
Associated Press text, photo, graphic, audio and/or video material shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium. Neither these AP Materials nor any portion thereof may be stored in a computer except for personal and non-commercial use. The AP will not be held liable for any delays, inaccuracies, errors or omissions therefrom or in the transmission or delivery of all or any part thereof or for any damages arising from any of the foregoing.

Copyright 1997 by Pecos Enterprise
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