MEXICO: Presidential Marathon

Sirens howling, a motorcycle escort whisked President Adolfo Ruiz Cortines' Lincoln limousine through the gates of Mexico City's presidential residence, Los Pifios, one day last week. With Mexico's Federal District Governor Ernesto P. Uruchurtu tagging along, Ruiz Cortines was out to hang up an unofficial speed record for public-works dedications.

First stop was before the four dramatic new buildings replacing the squalid hodgepodge of the capital's old Lagunilla Market. Starting strong, Ruiz Cortines came smiling through a confetti shower, visited each of the buildings, with a mariachi band blaring along behind. The President took a quick look at three other markets,...

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