Martha Chapa is a national media personality in Mexico in the way that, say, Jimmy Breslin or Mike Royko have been to the United States. Columnist for La Crisis, collaborator on a daily political cartoon for El Universal, author of a best-selling cookbook on Mexican cuisine, now exhibiting her paintings in the halls of the Mexican federal congress, Chapa has a way of speaking from and for the heart of the Mexican people.
Her latest polemic, in La Crisis, offers US readers a sense of the moral outrage that is shared throughout Mexico regarding the arrogance and hypocrisy of US drug policy toward Mexico:
Translated excerpt from
La Crisis, Mexico City, March 4th-10th, 2000
"Decertification of Sovereignty"
By Martha Chapa
"Davidow, with the face of a severe mental retard, describes us in the worst terms possible: Sicilian mafia, empire of drug trafficking, global board of directors of drug traffic. For his part, the drug czar (excuse me, anti-drug czar), Barry McCaffrey says that the Ambassador is wrong. And our dear Jesse Helms jumps forward again with his unstoppable rancor to insult Mexico. But to kill again, Madelaine Albright affirms that we have behaved ourselves and they will certify us.
"Well, the controversy reaches all the way up to Archbishop Cardinal Norberto Rivera, candidate for the biggest job of all, who speaks out against Davidow and demands proof, accusing him of detouring attention to make the badly-informed US public believe that the problem of drug trafficking is here. The hair in the soup was that choking commentary of the very same Attorney General of the Republic (he who, before - such times! - was called "attorney of the nation") who tried to minimize what Davidow said to demonstrate that he had been badly translated by the media and that his statements were taken out of context. What anxiety he has to stay on good terms with the bosses!
"If we serve as the diving board of drug trafficking it is only because they represent the pool. They want to blame us for what, at its depth, is for them a great business and sustains their economy. Enough already!"
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