Laws of the Jungle

In the wake of a massacre, Mexico is struggling to avoid slipping even further into chaos

The poverty-plagued southern state of Chiapas is Mexico's perennial reality check. Every time the country takes a step forward, something awful seems to happen there to remind Mexicans of their nagging social troubles. Just before Christmas, it was the massacre of 45 men, women and children who are said to have been sympathizers of the state's Zapatista guerrillas. The perpetrators: gunmen allegedly loyal to the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (P.R.I.). Last week groups of Tzotzil Maya Indians dressed in colorful garb and carrying religious images were nervously returning to the village of Acteal, where the slaughter took place. "We came back...

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