The Making of El Presidente

Will political reforms bring Mexicans their first fair, clean election?

The black-masked leader of the insurgent Zapatista National Liberation Army, who calls himself Subcomandante Marcos, summoned nearly 5,000 activists deep into the Lacandon forest in Chiapas state last week to deliver his campaign promise. In an open-air amphitheater hastily erected of logs, as storm clouds gathered overhead, Marcos issued a stern warning to the government of President Carlos Salinas de Gortari. If there is fraud in the upcoming national election, he declared, there will be an explosion of protest that will shut down Mexico. Just as he stopped speaking, a powerful downpour brought the four-day gathering to a sudden end, setting...

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