MEXICO: Pistoleros' Progress

As long as Mexico has had elections it has had pistoleros ("gunmen"). These bravos are sometimes paid, and sometimes just appoint themselves, to "support" respective candidates for office. During political off-seasons they keep in training by provoking purely private, local brawls, but let a close election loom and they emerge in force to strut around bars, clank their spurs haughtily and utter elegant insults at other candidates' pistoleros. Some pistoleros have strong political ideals. A lot of them get their bravado from tequila.

During the regime of Plutarco Elias Calles (1924-28) the...

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