Mexico: Sending a Blunt Message

Sending a Blunt Message

Mariana Rodriguez Villegas' assailants were anything but subtle. After stopping her on a Mexico City street two weeks ago, the four men held her at gunpoint and gave her a blunt message for her employer, writer Jorge Castaneda, one of the fiercest critics of President Carlos Salinas de Gortari's government: Lay off or die. Three days later, after the young secretary identified one of her menacers as a former police agent, a fifth thug threatened her life as well.

The Rodriguez episode is the latest in a string of abuses that have aroused concern over Mexico's human-rights record. Salinas, on tour...

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