Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Letter to the Editor, NYT (unpublished)

To the Editor:

Re "Mexico's President Rides Popularity Wave" (Mar. 18): Having run on a campaign of "mano dura" (strong hand), it makes sense that Felipe Calderon's "flurry of projects and proposals" has consisted more than anything of military and police coercion. This has had devastating social consequences.

Take the case of Oaxaca, for example, to which the article dedicates a single sentence. What goes unmentioned is the fact that the protests there turned "violent" not at the hands of protesters themselves, but rather at the hands of state and federal militarized police units (along with government-supported paramilitaries). This state violence caused the deaths of over 20 innocent civilians, including one U.S. citizen.

Felipe Calderon may be "on a roll," but we should be seriously questioning just what kind of a roll he's on.

Daniel Nemser
San Francisco, CA

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