by Richard L. Thornton, Architect & City Planner
The national news media in the United States is grossly ignorant of Mexico. This shocking news is no better example. MORENA, the political front of the Zapatista Movement, now runs Mexico. About two years ago, I thought that a brief news story here in Gringoland . . . mentioning that the new president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, had authorized the Zapatistas to expand the portion of Chiapas State under their administration . . . was rather odd. The Mexican government was supposed to be merely in an armistice with the Zapista guerillas after a 20 year long war that was fought to a stand-off.
In doing research for my next video, which will be on the Maya cities in Campeche, I was astonished to read that MORENA, the political arm of the Zapatistas, now has a majority in the state assemblies in southern Mexico, has a majority in the Mexican Congress AND that President Obrador is now a member of MORENA (Movimiento Regeneración Nacional). Morena also refers to the bronze complexions of Native Americans and Mestizos.
If readers recall some of my earlier segments in ONE SUMMER IN MEXICO . . . I stayed with college student-insurgents of a movement that later became known as the Zapatistas in Cancun, Quintana Roo and in the highlands of Chiapas. We feasted, partied and danced together. In each camp, I was assigned (24/7) an 18 year old female college student. This was considered rather revolutionary, because in that era, conservative young Mexican women typically dated men 5-15 years older than them. I had just turned 21.
Afterward, I wrote back to my handler that my new guerilla friends in Southern Mexico were obviously inept as warriors, but very idealistic and quite intelligent. They could become good friends of an open-minded American leadership. They looked to famous Americans such as Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King and Andrew Young as role models for creating a new Mexico. They were not Marxists, because they correctly realized that Marxism can only exist in a dictatorship. Well, now they lead Mexico!
Furthermore, I was shocked to see the name of the pretty Maya lass, who was about to start at the university and was my assigned to be companion in Chiapas. Well, being part Native American, I thought she was pretty and she did resemble one of my favorite cousins.
She now has a “Dr.” in front of her name and is one of the most influential leaders of the Mexican Senate. There is no way of telling if she is a medical doctor or academician, holding a PhD.
Never in a million years, though, would have dreamed her becoming a leader of Mexico. I am glad that her memories of her first and probably only Gringo companion were those of someone, who treated her with respect. She said that I was a “muy simpatico” man, when we parted.
Life is indeed a box of chocolates.