May 21, 1999
By Daniel L Muñoz
Perhaps, Governor Gray Davis forgot that a great many Chicanos, Mexicanos and Latinos hold Mexico's President Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de León culpable for the near warfare that has been occurring along the United States/Mexican border, as well as the former Governor Pete Wilson, the INS, and the U.S. Congress. He should not be surprised at the protests that have been held and directed at President Zedillo.
Governor Davis may have used the President of Mexico to cover up the fact that he too has added to the hostilities and the deaths occurring on the border by his refusal to set aside the most hated, racist piece of legislation ever to surface in America since the slavery laws of the 1700-1800's: PROP 127 and PROP 227. Chicanos haven't and won't.
When Davis visited Mexico, he too was greeted warmly by the people but only because he had taken a campaign position as an opponent of Prop 187. When Governor Davis slapped the Mexican people of California in the face and instead sided with Pete Wilson and the extreme Right - Wing, Lt. Governor Bustamante stood up to him and condemned him for his betrayal to the Mexican American voters and residents of this state.
It has not gone unnoticed that our Lt. Governor, Cruz Bustamante, has been shut out of the meetings and programs with president Zedillo. This is another insulting slap at the Mexican American citizens of this state. It shows how a-political he is and how insensitive he is by not allowing our Lt. Governor to occupy his position as the highest ranking elected official in the state. President Zedillo may have been too polite to say anything in public but you can rest assure he is well aware of this insult to the 30% of the California population that are Latinos.
James Flanigan writing in the Los Angeles Times pointed that Mexico and the U.S. exchange more than $170 billion in goods annually. "Mexico bought more than $22 billion worth of services such as telecommunications. Mexico bought $13.3 billion worth of goods from California. Mexico sent 1.3 million visitors to the Los Angeles area. Mexico is investing in California Telé-fonos Mexicana is opening its headquarters in San Diego." Yet our Governor with impunity insulted the Mexican President and every Mexican American in the State of California.
"President Zedillo like his predecessors has grossly violated the human and democratic rights the Mexican people. Ninety five percent of the people live in poverty and in dire straits."
The Coordinator Zapatista
"395 migrants have died in the past four years along the border of California and Baja California. This year 41 migrants have died. There is no way of getting around the fact that the strategy for dealing with the migrants had failed and has deliberately put them in harms way."
Migrant Pastoral Center & California Rural Legal Assistance Center
There are concerns, not only of the treatment by the INS/Border Patrol over the handling of border issues but in addition there are valid concerns over the handling by Mexico officials of the migrant issue, the enslavement of workers in the maquiladora where they work 8-10 hours a day for $5.00 per day with government permission.
The exploitation of the work force is a sensitive point with Mexican Americans as well as the recent workers who have risked coming into the U.S to seek work. These are all issues that the Mexican American/Chicano community would have liked to dialogue with the President, however we weren't invited to the party. Once again the governor and his lackeys excluded any meaningful dialogue with the President and sheep herded him away from La Raza.
They don't blame you Señor Presidente...they blame their own Governor and administration. Perhaps some day when we control the seat of government our people on both sides of the border will have a meaningful productive meeting.