[Marxism] The PRI Rules the Past Off Limits for Fox to Play With

Tony Abdo gojack10 at hotmail.com
Tue Jul 13 20:46:21 MDT 2004


Mexico's PRI Threatens Fox Over Probe
Tue Jul 13, 7:26 PM ET

By JOHN RICE, Associated Press Writer

MEXICO CITY - Mexico's top prosecutor on Tuesday shrugged off threats of 
political retaliation by the former ruling party if charges are filed 
against an ex-president in the massacre of student demonstrators three 
decades ago.

Leaders of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, urged their 
officials, who govern most states, to reconsider cooperation with President 
Vicente Fox's government if charges are brought against Luis Echeverria and 
top officials when he served as president in the early 1970s.

The PRI was in power for 71 years before Fox took office 2000.

A special prosecutor named by Fox, Ignacio Carrillo, said Tuesday he would 
say by July 24 whether Echeverria should face charges in a 1971 killing of 
the unarmed protesters — charges that would be without precedent in modern 
Mexican history.

That case is among several past crimes that Carrillo's office is probing, 
including a larger 1968 massacre of unarmed demonstrators and the 
disappearance and apparent killing of hundreds of leftist rebels and 
suspected sympathizers during the 1960s and 1970s.

The PRI's Permanent Political Commission said all elected PRI officials 
"should evaluate dialogue and negotiation with the head of the federal 
executive branch" as long as it maintains "criminal cases against civil and 
military authorities implicated in the pursuit of guerrillas in the 1970s," 
the commission said.

When Fox took office in 2000, he promised his administration would finally 
investigate massacres of dissidents and a so-called "dirty war" against 
leftists in the 1960s and 1970s, a long-standing demand of Mexico's left.

But the PRI already has stalled many of Fox's main proposals and the new 
warning could make it even harder for Fox to pass any legislation.

The PRI commission, headed by party President Roberto Madrazo, called on 
party lawyers to come to the defense of "the Mexican state and its armed 
forces."

Retired Gen. Ramon Mota Sanchez, a PRI senator, said the cases were part of 
"a joint attack on our political institutions," according to the party 
statement.

"We are not speaking only about a specific ex-president," the commission 
said. "We are speaking about the chief of the Mexican state, of the 
presidential institution, of historical legitimacy that gave political 
stability to the country for more than 70 years."

Echeverria's attorney Juan Velazquez said in a televised interview on 
Tuesday that he has seen the investigator's file against his client and 
"there is no proof, absolutely no proof" of responsibility.

He also said that the statute of limitations had expired even for the most 
extreme charges officials could lodge.

Fox's own defense secretary, Ricardo Vega, recently issued a call for 
national reconciliation that was widely seen in Mexico as a call by the 
military to drop prosecution of past crimes.

And on July 1, the country's top organized crime prosecutor, Jose Luis 
Santiago Vasconcelos, said the country should pardon former officials 
investigated for their roles in past crimes.

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