WS: MEXICO: RURAL DISCONTENT

Created: 6/14/1974

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MEXICO: RURAL DISCONTENT

Guerrilla violence and Signs of ruralare once again plaguing Ihe Echeveiria

The strange case of the political boss ol the southwestern state of Guerrero. Senator Ruben Figueroa, kidnaped two weeks ago by guerrilla leader Lucio Cabanas, remains unresolved. Cabanas operates in Guerrero and receivessupport from the peasants there. Figuerod, Ihe government's choice for state governor in elections this Occcmbcr. wenteeting he had proposed with Cabanas to offer him amnesl'

Compounding the Figueroa problem was the kidnaping last weekealthy Mexicanand the murdertudent leador in Guadalajara. The businessman died while inapparentlyeart attack, but hisbrought to light what couldewgroup called the Salvador Allende Urban Command.

to the tension

lUadalajara. the scene of many acts of violence in the past several months.

sprii, id campesinos and police were killed in two incidents arising from the use of farm land. These confrontations do not always end inpoliticians save the situation with freshbloodshed on lhe<vin?pr> is not uncommon.

The unres: isesult of corruption and exploitation, but ignorance, populationa shortage of good land, and theon industry during the lastears also play

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a part, as do tha rising expectations o< thePresident Echeverria has in some ways heightened these expectations. Ho came to office0 promising to improve Ihe lot of Iheommitment he frequently renews during trips to the countryside. He has already made more trips to the provinces than his three predecessors did during their collectiveears fn office, but the peasants have seen little results from these journeys.

Probably the chief 'actor respons'ble for the unrest, however, is the government's agrarian policy, with its system of tlido farms. Iheariant of the ancient Indian communal lands, satisfied the urgent political need to give land to millions of impoverished peasants. But it has failed to meet the food needs of the country or the economic needs of the peasants themselves. The Echeverria administration intends to ease the problem of sluggish growth in agriculturalin part by collectivizingnd by providing them with increased public and private credit. The small landowner will not betoo is included in plans for increasedthe emphasis will be on collectives and agribusiness.

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