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April 14, 1978 - Image 4

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Michigan Daily, 1978-04-14

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Page 4-Friday, April 14, 1978-The Michigan Daily

;:.

EhtMichtoigan F i
Eighty-Eight Years of Editorial Freedom

Vol. LXXXVIII, No. 155
Edited and m

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, MI 48109
News Phone: 764-0552
onaged by students at the University of Michigan

Not a democracy: A dungeon
Graphic by Rius from Mexico in Transition F

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A 'new South' echoes old
EN THE courts first ordered Carolina running its own schools, as
uthern public primary and long as officials follow federal
iry schools to desegregate in desegregation guidelines. But when
ere were fights, and fire- there are 11 predominately white cam-
gs and protests and a lot of puses in the UNC and five
rent. It took a long time, but predominately black ones then it is
nany Of those schools are in- time for HEW to take strong actin-
d.
now the courts are trying to Gov. Hunt has indicated that the
gate the colleges and univer- students at the black campuses are
n the South, and it looks as if receiving a fine education, and
still going to meet a lot of although he doesn't complete the
ice. thought, the implication is clear - just
niversity of North Carolina has as fine an education as the students at
o submit to Federal Judge John the white campuses. This dredges up
an acceptable plan to haunting memories of the "separate
gate its 16 campuses, and in but equal" days that were supposed to
e, the department of Health, be behind us now, but apparently con-
ion and Welfare (HEW) has tinue to thrive in some sections of the
ced it is cutting off about $10 country.
in federal funds until UNC Hunt went on to say, "We might not
s a viable plan. UNC officials in have created five traditionally black
e suing HEW, because, as Gov. universities for the right reasons
Hunt said, "We want to do historically, but we kept them going
s much as they (HEW) do, but for the right reasons."
oing to pursue our right to run But what possible reasons could
lic schools." there be for segregating black and
iave no quarrel with North white students other than racist ones?
Brave disclosures in Idaho
E NEWSPAPER of Lewiston, includes possible conflicts between
aho, has taken an unusual step publisher A. L. Alford and his
eek with a front-page public presidency of the Idaho Board of
of its own finances, both cor- Education, including notes on how this
as well as the personal finances position may have affected news
ditorial employees. The report coverage. There are questions as well,
d details on individual income for example, about whether Bill Hall,
rments, investments, civic ties, editorial page director, could write
iness interests. fairly about Sen. Frank Church (D-
is quite a step. Newspapers Idaho), for whom he once served as
iken up, frequently, a kind of press secretary. And there are
bunker atmosphere when it references to family ties which might
to divulging jnfoimation about create conflicts of interest for em-
lves. Terrified of incursions in- ployees.
t have traditionally been per- Publisher Alford even made a public
as its inalienable rights, the announcement that he would show his
ism industry has often shut its tax returns to anyone calling in at the
legitimate questions about it- newspaper. As of Wednesday, no one
1 shut its files to the public. had taken him up on it.
Y large newspapers, Townspeople were impressed. In-
olitan dailies, have even shut dustry observers were surprised and
lves away physically. Locked intrigued. James Boylan, editor of the
iormous and impressive for- Columbia Journalism Review, said,
the papers have hired guards, "This kind of full-scale undressing I've
d TV cameras, and employed never seen."
s of passes and signatures to get Other newspapers' attempts to open
e most unassuming of visitors their workings to the public, either by
the front lobby. hiring special ombudspersons for such
of this is a justified reaction to a purpose or running unedited gripes
blic attitude - a protection by readers, do not seem to possess the
sabotage, for example. But at enthusiasm and honesty that this at-
ne time, a great deal of it is tempt does.
action. What has happened to Newspapers are in effect, a public
wspaper of yesteryear, where trust. In recent years, however, the
tor wore an eyeshade and ran emphasis has been heavy on the
siness as sort of an intellectual newspaper as a commercial venture.
y store? It has evaporated in a It is not simply so.
f i teThe newspaper has not merely a job
Sself-righteous terror. to perform in disclosing that which it
ewiston Morning Tribune seeks considers newsworthy, but a duty to
rse this trend; openly declaring include all items of public interest,
has nothing to hide, nothing embarrassing or not. The Lewiston
rer. Most of this is simply Morning Tribune has, by its
. But what a welcome gesture it willingness to bare all, established it-
paper does not presume to a self as at least a moral example for all
oral attitude, either. The report journals everywhere.

Until 1968 the Mexican government had
succeeded rather well in keeping a tight lid on
adverse publicity concerning the handling of
its own people.
On October 2 of that year, as the attention of
the world was focused on Mexico because of
the Olympics, the lid wasaliterally blown off
when then President Diaz Ordaz and his
Minister of Interior Luis Echevarria ordered
thousands of army troops to disperse a
peaceful demonstration in Tlaltelolco Square
in Mexico City. The ensuing massacre, with an
estimated death toll of at east 500 (Some
estimates go as high as 2000) and
hundreds wounded, was gruesome evi-
dence that "peaceful" and "Rapidly
developing" Mexico was, in fact, not all that
different from some of the repressive regimes
found elsewhere in the Western Hemisphere.
It had simply been more discreet about its ac-
tions.
TO TOE THE ruling party's line is the first
commandment for the Mexican press. With
its monopoly on newsprint, control of 30 per-
cent of advertising and control of loans
through Nacional Financiera (the gover-
nment finance agency), the government
maintains effective control over what may or
may not be printed or broadcast to the public.
Television, because of its ability to reach a
wide audience, is watched the most closely,
and is, one Mexican political observer said,
"absolutely impermeable to dialogue or
criticism." Newspapers, although no longer
subjected to violent reprisals as a matter of
course, are given only slightly more room to
maneuver than television. The last
newspaper to be shut down was the Diario de
Mexico for having "inadvertently" switched
captions on the pictures of a new ape for the
zoo and that of President Diaz Ordaz. In 1976,
the whole editorial staff of one of Mexico's
leading newspapers, Excelsior. was fired for
being overly critical of Echevarria's ad-
ministration.
Not surprising, accounts of confrontations.
between the government and segments of the
population are heavily biased in favor of the
government. Although effective among cer-
tain groups, it has become progressively
more difficult to convince ever growing num-
bers of Mexicans about the truth of such
reports. That other countries receive reports
other than the "official" accounts was shown
when thousands demonstrated in Europe
against the Tlalteloco massacre. Curiously,
there were no demonstrations in the U.S., it
appears that in this country we receive only a
highly distorted account of events in Mexico.
THE RULING Revolutionary Institutional
Party (PRI) sees all, knows all and controls
everything. An old joke among Mexicans
says, "The PRI never loses, and when it does,
it snatches." It is, in fact, not so much a joke
as a reality. Since its founding in 1929, the PRI
has not lost a race for pr.esident, senator or

By Memo Torres

governor, except when it close to allow op-
position parties to place representatives in
the government so that the facade of
representative democracy wouldbemain-
tained.
All candidates from national to municipal
posts are sponsored by the party without any
input from the voters. The voters, being
aware of this, stay away from the polls in
droves, while those that do vote do so because
they are obligated to in one way or
another. Among the latter are countless
numbers in the vast government bureaucracy
who must maintain their party credentials in

few that control the economic forces of the
country. The exploitation of the many by the
few places the exploited in direct confron-
tation with the government. It is the PRI with
its monopoly on armed force which has the
job of keeping "order" in the country.
Low level but consistent, violent repression
is used to keep dissent in check while at the
same time avoiding dramatic incidents such
as the one in Tlalteloco. Whenever large scale
repressive efforts are considered necessarv
they are disguised either as a "war on drugs"
as in the Sierra in northwest Mexico, mas
military maneuvers like those in the state of
Oaxaca, or as campaigns against "bandits"
such as those carried on in the state of
Guerrero.
In 1976, the newspaper Excelsior reported
the following incidents for the month of
February: 11 attacks by police, 2 by the ar-
my, 2 by aramilitary groups, 4 by landlord's
private gunmen, 3 by "goons", and 4 by
unidentified individuals; resulting in 11 dead,
21 wounded, 44 arrested and 2 kidnapped. The
chief targets of violent government
repression are mainly the campesinos,
workers and students. Not being
economically powerful or having exploitable
bureaucratic skills, they are handled with
less subtlety than the others.
Unbelievable poverty, massive unem-
ployment (40 percent national average), and
complete alienation from the political activity
has pushed many people into greater political
activity against the government with, of
course, predictable consequences.
The conclusion drawn by many people is
quite clear. Fundamental change is
necessary in Mexico before a majority of
people will be able to exercise basic
democratic rights and participate in making
decisions which will affect their lives.
The right to constructive dissent can be ef-
fectively supported from outside the country,
as has been well demonstrated by such
organizations as Amnesty International.
Locally, the Ann Arbor Committee for Human
Rights in Latin America has joined the effort
to see that pressure is exerted on governmen-
ts so that the rights of people are not violated.
Support for those seeking political asylum,
such as Hector Marroquin, the Mexican
political exile who will speak at the Michigan
Union on Tuesday, April 18, is an important
part of that effort. If Marroquin is granted
asylum, his defense campaign would set an
encouraging precedent for the future.

order to advance to higher "elective" office
or just to keep their jobs. "If you don't have a
government job, you're not living right" goes
the old saying.
The offer of a government job or privilege is
one of the favorite selection devices used by
the PRI. By making as many people as
possible dependent upon the party for their
livelihood, the PRI, in effect, ensures its own
survival. It attempts to recruit all those who it
feels may prove to be troublesome in the
event that they go over to the opposition. If
such co-optation fails, there is no hesitation
to use other less agreeable methods to
neutralize potential opponents.
Of course, even the PRI hasn't managed to
bring everybody into the bureaucacy,and so
there remains the great mass of "losers" -
the people. Not officially within the gover-
nment, but nevertheless among the decision
makers, are to be found the economically
powerful, both foreign and domestic. Today
the penetration of the Mexican economy by
U.S. multinational corporations is so extensive
that it has brought about the complete integr-
ation of the Mexican economy with that of the
U.S.
ECONOMIC DOMINATION by the PRI has
brought with it political domination. This
political domination makes the PRI respon-
sive not to the needs of the majority of the
people, but to the dictates of its own internal
dynamic as well as to the dictates of the very

I
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NEXT: The saga of
Hector Marroquin
Memo Torres is a member of the
Ann Arbor Committee for Human Rights
in Latin America.

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LETTERS TO THE DAILY

Will the real libertarian please

0 . .

To The Daily:
Every so often I have noticed
in the press the appearance of
certain characters who claim to
be libertarians. Ronald Reagan is
one. There is even a character
who has founded the "Conser-
vative-Libertarian" party whose
platform in its ecomonic and
racist pronouncements closely
resembles that of the National
Socialist (NAZI) party. The
latest person is evidently Ronald
Trowbridge.
I admit that I don't know much
about Mr. Trowbridge. I have
always considered him a conser-
vative. In fact, I once read an ar-
ticle he wrote which was highly
critical of libertarians. Now he
says he is one. Of course, he
might have undergone a conver-
sion of some sort but to be iden-
tified as a movement libertarian
as opposed to a conservative who
thinks that "libertarian" sounds
better than "conservative"
requires that he adhere to liber-
tarian philosophy and not just be
possessed of certain libertarian
attitudes which everyone has to a
greater or lesser extent.
Specifically, if Ronald
Trowbridge believes that
everyone's life is theirs alone to
live as they see fit and not a
means to the ends others might

Libertarian Party (especially if
he wants to be elected) nor am I
the type who would denounce him
if he ceased to be a purist in order
to remain politically effective but
I do have an interest in deter-
mining just who is a libertarian
and not merely out of adherence
to dogma. As a struggling young
movement trying to establish it-
self through its unique
philosophy, methodology, and
social attitudes and proposals,
libertarianism does not need to
be confused in the public eye with
anyone who may merely call
himself a libertarian.
Conservatism and Liber-
tarianism have certain things in
common. Both tend to favor a
free market economy although
Libertarians prefer that of the
Austrian school. Republican con-
servatives, though, tend to be in-
terventionists on behalf of big
business. Both tend to be in-
dividualists but conservatives
are intolerant of the peaceful,
choices of people who differ from
them. They are not merely for
order but a certain kind of order,
In its tolerance of abberant
drugs, sexual preferences and so
forth libertarians part company
with conservatives. Similarly in
their patriotic fervor and support
of the garrison state and foreign

you really a libertarian?" I'd like
to see your answer.
-Gerry Wolke
President,
Ann Arbor Libertarian
League '
Israeli arms
To The Daily:
On April 7th, a feature written
by a Michael Arkush entitled
"Israel gets the arms shaft" ap-
peared in the Daily. Mr. Arkush
argued that Carter's tying of arm
sales to Israel'with arm sales to
Egypt and Saudi Arabia violates
a commitment made to Israel
and is inconsistent with a
"special relationship" which is
supposed to exist between the
U.S. and Israel. Arkush wrote
that the U.S. should reward Sadat
only with economic assistance
and he worried that planes based
in Saudi Arabia might easily
threaten Tel Aviv.
May I suggest that Saudi
Arabia and Egypt are as close to
Israel as Israel is to Egypt and
Saudi Arabia. While Egypt and
Saudi Arabia have resisted the
temptation to bomb their neigh-
bors, Israel has not. Those of us
so unfashionable as to remember
Vietnam will recall that "main-

sales pitch
To The Daily:
An ad in Sunday's Daily read:
"Earn $3,000 this summer! ! Find
out how. For interview call 994-
4309." Sounds interesting, doesn't
it? This ad is run by the represen-
tatives of Southwestern Com-
pany, who tempt college students
with the "opportunity" to make
snap decisions, become your own
boss, and to make it on your own.
One can receive this opportunity
by answering this ad and being
granted an interview.
being granted an irperview.
This interview starts out with
the student being asked to reveal
a short history of himself, the
points of which are retained by
the interviewers. 'These small
items of personal information are
used to intimidate the student in
the ensueing stages of this
carefully planned and executed
snowjob.
It is not until later in this "in-
terview" that one finds out that
he would be sent to some un-
determined part of the country,
to earn his money from com-
missions on book sales to pay for
his expenses.
Those who see through this
delusion set forth, should not
have to undergo the treatment
then given by these glib represen-

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