The Great and Powerful Oz, starring EPN

Francisco Goldman’s recent articles in the New Yorker have had the best, most nuanced, coverage of Mexico in the English language. In the latest, he highlights the words of Alejandro Solalinde, a Catholic priest and human-rights activist.  He notes that the Father “first came to national and international attention about a decade ago when he was running a shelter in a part of Oaxaca on the Central American migrants’ trail, waging what was at first nearly a one-man battle to draw attention to the migrants’ plight: the murders, kidnappings, extortions, and rapes they suffer at the hands of cartels, corrupt police, treacherous coyotes and so many others on their treks across Mexico to the U.S. border.”

He goes on to argue that “Few are better informed than Father Solalinde about what is going on among the various civic, human-rights, local-autonomy, and self-defense groups throughout Mexico. He has become a rare, inspirational figure in the ongoing scandal.”

I would second that.  EPN and his crew seem callously tone-deaf to the situation, and Solalinde’s words speak to the heart of the matter.  Goldman writes:

“The United States has been relating to a mask. The government is a monster with a mask, and behind the mask is this little man. You’ve been negotiating with a mask, that’s what I told the U.S. Ambassador when he phoned me.”

“These were Mexico’s poorest people, who were used to imagining the President as someone unimaginably great. They discovered that our President is small. The little man of Los Pinos, small and weak. The myth of the strong government is falling. People see that our system is corrupt, decadent, weak. People are losing their fear of describing things as they are.”

Well said, Father, well said.

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