Alianza: The Peace Corps Approach

"Mata al gringo! Mata al gringo!"

bawled the fight fans in the tiny Mexi can town. It was 1941, and the skinny, 21 -year-old American college boy calling himself "Chopper" Hood slugged away at his Mexican opponent. "After a little while," recalls the Chopper, "I realized that what they were yelling was 'Kill the Yankee!' " Thus, if somewhat inauspiciously, began Gringo Hood's longtime friendship with Latin America.

This week Jack Hood Vaughn, 44, current U.S. Ambassador to Panama, moves into the heavyweight class as Assistant Secretary of State for Latin American Affairs, succeeding Thomas C. Mann. As such, he...

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