MEXICO: Marx in Hock

In the mahogany-paneled study of his home in suburban San Angel, Mexico's Red-tinged labor leader, Vicente Lombardo Toledano, has amassed a library of 2,500 books. It includes many prized volumes of Mexican history, gilt-titled editions of Marx, Engels, Hegel, Kant, Darwin and Spencer. Two years ago, in order to help finance his left-wing Popular Party, Lombardo put up his library as collateral for a 6,000-peso ($696) loan from the government's cooperative bank.

Last week the note fell due. Since the party till was empty, and its boss short of cash, the government...

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