(From the August 1996 Conspiracy Nation Newsletter)
"Ah. Mexico Lindo."
"It don't look so 'lindo' to me.  It just looks like more Texas."
These  lines  are  from  the great western movie, The Wild Bunch.
Fleeing bank  robbers  William  Holden,  Warren  Oates and others
escape the United States and seek refuge in  circa  1915  Mexico.
They enter a Mexico in the middle of revolution and become caught
up in events.
The early 20th century Mexican Revolution is the stuff of legend.
It  is  perceived  as having been a peasant uprising, but that is
misleading.  There were actually  two  Mexican Revolutions in the
mid-to-late 1910s:  one was led by an emerging middle class;  the
other was a peasant revolution led by such as Emiliano Zapata and
Pancho  Villa.   The  former  sought a strong central government.
The latter  wanted  land  rights,  reform,  and local government.
After years of fighting, the middle class faction  won.   One  of
their  first priorities was to crush Villa's and Zapata's peasant
Yet subsequent Mexican governments promoted an erroneous history,
purporting that Zapata and Villa  had been part of the victorious
middle  class  faction,  not  that  that  faction  had  viciously
destroyed them -- so much the better to rule when all  those  you
rule believe they belong.
Another  almost  immediate  effect of the revolution was that the
new Mexican government  increasingly  became  the  main source of
business for private companies.  Loyal supporters of  the  ruling
party were rewarded with fat government contracts.
Another  major  upheaval  came  in  the  late 1960s.  Hundreds of
thousands of Mexican students and workers began agitating against
the  Mexican  government.   They   marched,  gave  speeches,  and
published  small  newspapers,  demanding  reform   and   economic
justice.  Alarmed, the government at last unleashed the military;
thousands  were  murdered,  imprisoned,  and  tortured in what is
known as Mexico City's Tlatelolco Square Massacre.
After the massacre, those elements of the movement not dead or in
prison were  driven  underground.   They  formed  small political
"cells" and continued to nurture their 1960s rhetoric and ideals.
Out of the government repression, the National Liberation  Forces
(NLF) was born.  It grew and was one of several Mexican guerrilla
groups  having  a  pro-Cuban, Marxist ideology.  For funding, the
NLF began to rob banks, starting in the 1970s.  It also developed
peasant  support  groups  in  Chiapas,  the  southernmost Mexican
By 1980, the organization of the NLF had become  four-tiered:   a
national  directorate,  a  politburo, an urban front, and a rural
front; the Zapatista National  Liberation  Front (EZLN).  The NLF
strategy had evolved by this  time  into  a  Maoist  strategy  of
"prolonged popular war."
In  the  early  1980s,  several  Marxist philosophy and sociology
students from  Mexico  City's  Autonomous Metropolitan University
moved to Chiapas to help organize NLF's  rural  guerrilla  front.
Helping  them  was  Msgr.   Samuel  Ruiz,  "the  Red Bishop," who
organized 4,000 lay  workers  to  preach "liberation theology" to
the Chiapas Indians.  (Question:  Is this  why  Lyndon  LaRouche,
shill for the right-wing Opus Dei faction of the Catholic Church,
has  so  vehemently  denounced the Zapatista rebellion?  Remember
from the last issue, "The Smiling Pope," how leftist and rightist
factions within the Catholic Church can be quite antagonistic.)
Besides having lay workers  preaching  to the peasant groups, the
waters were further muddied:  NLF's people  begin  to  infiltrate
Roman Catholic peasant groups.
In   1988,  Harvard  trained  Carlos  Salinas  de  Gotari  became
President of Mexico.  During  his  term of office (1988-1994) the
big push for the so-called North American  Free  Trade  Agreement
(NAFTA)  gathered  steam.   In  the  United  States,  the Salinas
government spent $11 million per  year on what is politely called
"public  relations"  --  propaganda  --  designed   to   persuade
Americans  that  Mexico  would  make  an excellent NAFTA partner.
But, among other things, Yale trained Billy Clinton's and Harvard
trained Carlos Salinas' NAFTA wound  up  sending a flood of cheap
corn and wheat into Mexico.  This  hurt  Mexican  farmers  badly.
They, in turn, could no longer afford to hire the Chiapas Indians
as field hands.
Carlos  Salinas  was so often referred to as "the Harvard trained
Salinas" that he became nicknamed "Harvard Trained Salinas."  The
Mexican state of Chiapas is  so impoverished that it is nicknamed
"Mexico's basement" -- in other  words  it  is  kept  hidden  how
backward  it  is.   The  majority  of its people are poor, Indian
peasants.  The women must walk for hours every day, just so their
families can have water and  firewood.  Their shacks are lucky to
have a tin roof.
So what did Harvard Trained and his government do?  Help them get
electricity and running water?  No,  Harvard  Trained  and  upper
crust  chums  decided  to  get  them 3700 basketball courts!  The
Chiapas Indians, thanks  to  Harvard  Trained,  then put together
12,000 basketball teams.  They still don't have shoes  and  their
average  height  is  about  5  feet 3 inches tall -- but hey:  at
least after a hard  day  of  toting  firewood  they can relax and
shoot some hoops!
Harvard Trained also caused an $11  million,  world  class  opera
house  to  be  built in Chiapas.  While it was being built, right
next door to it, two  homeless  Indian children died of exposure.
It seems the nights grow cold in Chiapas.
On February 23rd, 1993, a private dinner party was  held  at  the
sumptuous  home  of  former  Mexican finance minister Don Antonio
Ortiz Mena.  The  party  was  attended  by  President Salinas and
several Mexican billionaires.  The meeting was supposed  to  have
been  top  secret,  but  news  of its having occurred leaked out.
Reportedly, each of the attendees  agreed  to give $25 million to
the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).  The "revolutionary"
PRI is in fact what amounts to as the political party in  Mexico.
It  is  the  political  party that was born out of the early 20th
century Mexican Revolution, way back  in  the late 1910s.  PRI is
akin to the Democratic Party in Chicago in the sense  that,  sure
there are other political parties, but everyone knows that really
only that one party has the power.
So  just  why would it be that several Mexican billionaires would
secretly give $25 million apiece  to  the PRI?  Had they suddenly
become extremely "patriotic" yet, being humble about it, did  not
wish to fanfare what noble fellows they are?
On  May  22nd,  1993,  the Mexican army entered the now-abandoned
Zapatista camp near San Miguel,  in the Mexican state of Chiapas.
It  was  seen  that  this  "spontaneous,"   "populist,"   Chiapas
insurgent  army  is  suprisingly well-funded:  the Zapatista camp
was huge, and included a  volleyball  court; it was equipped with
electricity, televisions, and kitchens.
By 1994 it was becoming clearer that the Zapatista rebel army  is
not  autonomous.  It is actually being run by white, middle-class
intellectuals in Mexico City.   The "Sub-commander Marcos" is not
native to Chiapas; he is white-skinned, well-educated,  and  from
Mexico  City.   While this editor is not always in agreement with
Pat Robertson, one of his  writings  from the book, The New World
Order, comes to mind:
  All  the  extreme  political  ideologies  in  the  world --
  whether they come  from  the  extreme  right or the extreme
  left -- have come  from  the privileged classes.  Those who
  want  to  determine  how  the  poor  should live have never
  endured  or  even  seen real poverty.  Socialism in Britain
  was a  creature  of  the  aristocracy.   Communism  was the
  brainchild of German-Jewish intellectuals...
In Mexico City, like a  spider  ruling its web, sits Commander in
Chief "German."  Somehow the impoverished Indians of Chiapas  are
quite well-armed, with AK-47 rifles, Uzi submachine guns, grenade
launchers,  and  night  vision  devices.   Yet  the  world press,
suckers for a story that  they  can sell to a nostalgic Woodstock
generation, has promoted romantic nonsense; they  have  portrayed
the Chiapas rebellion as a populist uprising.
1994 saw the imminent expiration of Harvard trained Salinas' term
of  office.   On  March  23rd, 1994, PRI's presidential candidate
Luis Donaldo Colosio was  assassinated in Tijuana.  The confessed
assassin  of  Colosio,  Mario  Aburto  Martinez,  was  at   first
perceived  as a "lone nut."  But this view quickly changed as the
government-appointed special  prosecutor  went  on record stating
that there had been what he calls a "concerted  action"  (what  I
would  call,  in  other  words,  "a conspiracy") behind Colosio's
murder.  Speculation grew that the  killing  had been done at the
behest of powerful persons in Mexico.  The  growing  apprehension
threatened  to  crash  the  Mexican  stock market, the Bolsa, and
precipitate flight of capital from Mexico.
Meanwhile,  subsequent  to  the  death  of  PRI  nominee Colosio,
Ernesto Zedillo was unveiled as the Mexican  Establishment's  new
candidate for the post of el presidente.  Government workers were
bused  to  PRI  headquarters  in downtown Mexico City to serve as
cheering background for  the  new  candidate.  On television they
could be seen -- to  the  naive  they  appeared  as  spontaneous,
enthusiastic  supporters of Zedillo.  But for these stage-managed
supporters, all that really counted was  that they got to stay on
the gravy train.  This situation occurs also in the United States
where a background of "enthusiastic supporters" is largely  fake,
with  the  real  enthusiasm  being  for fat government contracts,
high-level government  jobs  and  potential  political backing in
later campaigns.  (Also in attendance as enthusiastic  background
for  stooge  candidates  are  naive  persons  who believe in this
The new candidate,  Zedillo,  is  said  to  be  the puppet of PRI
hard-liners, who favor  toughness,  intolerance,  and  repression
toward dissent.
In  this  time frame, Mexico's ruling class had been experiencing
increasing internal  tensions  --  a.k.a.  a  "clash  of titans,"
a.k.a. faction fights.  The government was undergoing  a  process
of  what is code-named "privatization," thought by some to really
mean  the  selling  off   of  publicly-owned  assets  to  private
corporations  for   benefit   of   greedy   stockholders.    This
"privatization"  process  is  resulting  in  a  shrinking  of the
government's economic  pie;  a  sort  of  "downsizing" within the
Mexican government is leading to bitter  infighting  amongst  the
political rats.
By  the  summer  of  1994,  the "enthusiastic" push for candidate
Zedillo was in  high  gear.   The  PRI  secretly paid millions of
dollars to Mexican newspapers  in  return  for  their  publishing
campaign propaganda disguised as news.  About 10 percent of these
monies  went  to  reporters  themselves, to keep them quiet about
what they knew.   Televisa,  the  Mexican  television monopoly --
really an octopus that smothers all other news -- gave  the  vast
majority of its air time to the Zedillo campaign.  The opposition
Party  of  the  Democratic Revolution (PRD) candidate, Cuauhtemoc
Cardenas, got only  miniscule  coverage  by Televisa.  To confuse
voters, the  Establishment's  Institutional  Revolutionary  Party
(PRI)  even  created  small,  fake  opposition parties which were
secretly funded by PRI.
The Mexican common  people  struggle  for whatever influence they
can wield over how their  lives  are  being  affected.   The  "El
Barzon"  movement,  one  million  strong,  fights  the banksters.
Crushed under usurious  debt,  they  demand renegotiation of past
loans.  Activist groups  launch  an  "adopt  a  public  official"
campaign:   the  "adopted" official comes under close scrutiny by
the adopter; he  is  put  "under  the  microscope"  and, if he is
corrupt, pressure is brought to bear.
Thanks to looming NAFTA, the Mexican-U.S.  border  is  more  wide
open  than  ever  to  "free  trade."  That border is becoming the
number 1 drug smuggling route  for illicit narcotics.  75 percent
of cocaine entering the U.S. comes in via Mexico.  Yearly profits
of about $20 billion further corrupt  politics  via  bribery  and
terror.   The  drug  money is laundered through Mexican banks and
through investments in resorts and shopping centers.  The city of
Guadalajara  has  become  the  "Wall  Street"  for  Mexican money
laundering.  Is that why Cardinal Posadas Ocampo of that city was
assassinated?  Supposedly it was a case of "mistaken identity" --
but was it rather that Posadas Ocampo had become a thorn  in  the
side of Dope, Incorporated?
Then,  on  September  28th,  1994,  in downtown Mexico City, Jose
Francisco "Pepe" Ruiz Massieu,  PRI general secretary, was gunned
down.  Could this tragedy  have  happened  because  his  brother,
Mario  Ruiz  Massieu,  was a senior government prosecutor who had
publicly sworn to defeat  Mexico's  massive Gulf drug cartel?  To
stave off such  suspicions,  hours  after  the  slaying  of  Jose
Francisco  brother  Mario  was  made  chief investigator into the
case.  Daniel Aguilar, gunman in the assassination of "Pepe" Ruiz
Massieu, had  fortuitously  been  captured  at  the  site  of the
killing.  His full confession led ultimately to  PRI  congressman
Manuel   Munoz   Rocha.    But   Congressman   Munoz  Rocha  then
The  initial  public   excitement   and   outrage  regarding  the
assassination of "Pepe" Ruiz Massieu died down with  time.   With
the  heat  off,  the investigation by Mario Ruiz Massieu into his
brothers death began to  bog  down.   On November 15, 1994, Mario
Ruiz Massieu charged that the PRI was blocking his investigation.
Later that month, he resigned as special  investigator  into  his
brother's  murder.   In  early  December, Mario Ruiz Massieu fled
Mexico.  He  was  arrested  in  Newark,  New  Jersey, carrying $7
million.  Mexico has demanded he be extradited; they charge  that
Mario  had  covered  up  involvement  of  Raul  Salinas -- Carlos
Salinas' brother -- as  mastermind  behind  the killing of "Pepe"
Ruiz Massieu.
By late December of 1994,  both  the  Colosio  and  Ruiz  Massieu
assassinations  had made foreign investors nervous; their Mexican
deposits began a stampede for the exits.  A Zapatista uprising in
Chiapas lessened investor confidence  still further.  There was a
financial crisis.  It was decided to "float" the Mexican peso  --
allow  the  market  to  fix  its  price.  In the next few months,
American investors lost more than 30 percent of their money.  The
Mexican financial troubles threatened  a worldwide chain reaction
that could have crashed stock markets throughout the world.
In early 1995 U.S. President  Bill  Clinton  used  his  executive
powers  to  release  $20  billion from the U.S. Treasury Exchange
Stabilization Fund --  money  originally  meant  to stabilize the
U.S. dollar -- to help save Mexico from bankruptcy.  The New York
investment bank Goldman-Sachs  reportedly  had  huge  investments
down  in the land of our NAFTA neighbor.  The just-appointed U.S.
Treasury Secretary Robert  Rubin  had  until  quite recently been
head of Goldman-Sachs.  Hmmm....  Is there a conflict of interest
Also in early 1995 the so-called "Chase Bank  memo"  surfaced  in
the  Washington  Post.   This Chase Manhattan Bank memo urged the
Mexican  government  to  get   moving  and  crush  the  Zapatista
resistance.  Furthermore, Mexican President  Ernesto  Zedillo  is
aware  that  the  Chase  Bank memo represents the secret views of
most banksters.
In early March of 1995,  Raul  Salinas was arrested, charged with
being the mastermind behind the murder of  "Pepe"  Ruiz  Massieu.
Now  ex-President  Carlos Salinas, saying he is convinced Raul is
innocent, began a hunger  strike.   But,  after  a  day or two to
think it over, he went back to eating.
By November 24th, 1995, those with  access  to  Associated  Press
were  reading  about Raul Salinas being on trial for murder.  The
plot  thickens:   the  murdered  "Pepe"  Ruiz  Massieu  was  Raul
Salinas'  brother-in-law.    Around   this   time  also,  Paulina
Castanon, sister-in-law of  Harvard-trained  ex-President  Carlos
Salinas,  got arrested; she allegedly used false documents to try
to  withdraw  nearly  $84  million  from  a  Swiss  bank account.
(Associated Press, 11/24/95)
At about this time too, Reuters reported that  Swiss  authorities
had  blocked  several  bank accounts in a probe "into a drugs and
money-laundering scheme alleged to  be  linked  to the brother of
Mexican ex-President Carlos Salinas."  But, said Carlos  Salinas,
compadre  of  dashing  Bill  Clinton,  U.S.  President,  "I  know
nothing."   Yet,  strangely, Carlos Salinas himself next seems to
vanish!  Where is Carlos Salinas?  (Reuters, 11/30/95)
Carlos Salinas, circa November 30, 1995, was formally "accused of
treason and fraud in connection  with  the 1990 sell-off of state
phone company Telmex."  (Reuters, 11/30/95) (You see,  they  were
privatizing the state phone company.)
But  hold  the  phone!  Reuters reported on December 1, 1995 that
another $20 million had been found stashed away for Raul Salinas,
this time in a London account.   And where is Carlos Salinas, the
ex-President?  He has fled Mexico and is said to be laying low in
December 2, 1995:  Probes were launched by both Canada and Mexico
into possible  financial  wrongdoing  by  Carlos  Salinas.   And,
according  to El Financiero newspaper, "Mexican police have found
some  $300   million   in   bank   accounts   belonging   to  the
ex-president's  brother   in   Switzerland,   Germany,   England,
Luxembourg,   and   the  Cayman  Islands."   (See  also  Reuters,
Reuters ("Mexico Bails Out Top Bank In Growing Crisis," 12/15/95)
next reported "a  de-facto  renationalization  of the bank system
that was privatized during  the  previous  government  of  Carlos
Salinas."   It  seems  that  drug traffickers and others had been
buying up --  "privatizing"  --  the  banks,  and now the Mexican
government was forced to bail out these same banks to  keep  them
from  collapsing.   And,  noted  New  Federalist  ("Four  Nations
Investigating Salinas Money, Dope Ties," 12/11/95), "According to
an   expose  in  the  New  York  Times  last  July,  former  Bush
administration officials charged  that  they  had been ordered by
other senior Bush officials to hush up reports of  drug  activity
under  the  Salinas  team  --  such  as how drug-traffickers were
buying up Mexican state companies that were being privatized."
Did Raul  Salinas  consult  with  witches  regarding  the Colosio
slaying?  Reuters ("Mexico Police Probe Witches In Colosio Case,"
12/16/95) reported that investigators had travelled to the Canary
Islands to interview two "witches" who  might  have  information.
But  why  would  Raul Salinas consult them on the Colosio slaying
when he is supposedly only  involved  in the death of "Pepe" Ruiz
Massieu?  Or is there a link between the two deaths?
Meanwhile, Mario Ruiz Massieu, as of December 15, 1995, was still
fighting extradition back to Mexico.  He had  been  held  without
bail since his March 3rd arrest at Newark International Airport.
Am  I wrong, or would this have made for some interesting reports
from mainstream "news" outlets?   Yet  this  whole story has been
scarcely if at all covered here in the U.S. Thus, I have  had  to
"dig  for buried treasure" just to get a glimpse of what has been
going on with our new NAFTA friend.
So details I have  are  still  sketchy regarding our "top secret"
trading partner and just what is going on down there.   Recently,
news  surfaced  regarding  Citibank  and  Carlos  Salinas   being
involved      in     "a     multimillion-dollar     international
drug-money-laundering scheme."  You may  have seen a watered-down
version of this story recently on the CBS program  "60  Minutes."
Apparently,   when   sister-in-law  of  Carlos  Salinas,  Paulina
Castanon, had tried withdrawing  the  $84  million from the Swiss
bank (see above), it opened up a real can  of  worms.   Castanon,
wife  of  the imprisoned Raul Salinas, was nabbed at a high-class
bank, Pictet & Cie, in Geneva.   The account at Pictet was set up
for Raul Salinas, under a phony name, by Amelia Grovas Elliot  of
Citibank.   She  has  been,  since  1981, in charge of the Mexico
branch  of  Citibank's  Private  Bank,  a  bank  within  Citibank
handling  an  ultra-exclusive  clientele.   Citibank  itself went
bankrupt in 1992 and was secretly placed into receivership by the
New York Federal Reserve.  This means that the New York  Fed  has
since   1992,  supposedly,  been  "micro-managing"  any  Citibank
transactions of $1 million  or  more.  So it becomes increasingly
clear that Raul Salinas was washing a lot of money -- be it  from
illicit  drug  dealings,  bribes, or whatever -- with the help of
Citibank and under  the  watchful  eyes  of  the Federal Reserve!
(See:   "Fed,  Citibank,  Salinas  In   Dope-$-Laundering,"   New
Federalist, 06/17/96; Wall Street Journal, 06/07/96.)
Prognosis is  difficult  since  only  smatterings  of information
arrive from Mexico.   Recently,  it  has  been  reported  by  New
Federalist  that  a  mob  of  starving Mexicans went so far as to
hijack a freight  train  loaded  with  grain  going through their
district.  I am attempting to  get  hold  of  Mexican  newspapers
which may give more clues.  Will our next war be with our current
NAFTA partner?  Divorces can get messy.  Stay tuned.
(Main  source  for the preceding has been *Bordering on Chaos* by
Andres Oppenheimer. Boston: Little, Brown & Company, 1996.)