MEXICO: A Slug In the Heart

In the cheerless lobby of Mexico City's Hotel Ambos Mundos one night last week, General Jesús H. Alva sat stroking his huge mustache. He was reminiscing about the old days when he was one of Pancho Villa's Dorados ("golden" shock troops). As he talked, the 70-year-old general played with a wooden bullet. "Son," he said to a bystander, "they sent us these, thinking that we wouldn't be able to fight with them. That trick could not stop the Dorados!"

The general got up, crossed the lobby to the cigar stand, bought four of his favorite cigars. As he turned from the...

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