Carlos Salinas: The Man Behind the Mask

A President who expects -- and gets -- results

The burden of power has added weight to his taut cheeks, sketched lines under his eyes and erased the spontaneity from his grin. The face of Carlos Salinas de Gortari recalls Mexico's ubiquitous clay masks: one side smiles, free of trenchant thought; the other is a frieze of pained contemplation. That, Nobel laureate Octavio Paz wrote in The Labyrinth of Solitude 40 years ago, is typical of his countrymen: "His face is a mask, and so is his smile."

Salinas seems to be tugging his country out of a feudal past, yet he is also pulling Mexico back to an era...

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