Mexico In a Hurry or Running Scared?

Salinas is modernizing Mexico's economy, but he is not nearly as far along in reforming the country's antiquated political system

Mexico is a country where nothing is ever quite what it seems. Appointments are made to be broken. Most prices are negotiable. Saving face is more important than telling the truth. Yet what President Carlos Salinas de Gortari is striving to achieve is unusually straightforward. Since his inauguration in December 1988, Mexico's 42-year-old leader has trained his formidable skills on awakening his country from inward-looking torpor to a world where market forces are increasingly international and interdependent.

After almost two years at the helm, Salinas can claim some success. On the economic front, he has launched a campaign to reduce Mexico's...

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