Mexico Tightens Its Belt

Brutal austerity measures aim at shrinking an $86 billion mountain of debt

Mexico is a place where worlds come and go, sometimes sinking out of sight. In the 16th century, Cortés obliterated the Aztec culture in one of history's more thorough conquests. But 200 years before that, the Aztecs had built their own civilization near the ruins of an earlier, forgotten people. To this day, Mexicans are haunted by the ever present fear of still another apocalypse, and there is enough bad news in their economy at present to keep the specter alive.

Almost always, it seems, the...

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