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President Clinton recently visited Mexico While there he met with PRI Institutional Revolutionary Party president Ernesto Zedillo The PRI is the political party in power It has been in power for over 60 years and has never lost a presidential election Is the PRI the true expression of the democratic will of the people of Mexico or a totalitarian dictatorship In 1968 Mexican students protested the PRI government and army Over 300 students were murdered On January 1st 1994 a group of Mayan Indians calling themselves the EZLN Zapatista Army of National Liberation rose up in arms to protest the same government and army This paper will explore the history of the PRI the 1968 student massacre and the formation of the EZLN By examining this part of Mexican history this paper will show direct links between governmental corruption the lack of democracy the intolerance of social protest and the necessity for the oppressed to move towards armed struggle In 1924 Plutarco Calles was the president of Mexico He was the founder and organizer of the PNRNational Revolutionary Party which later changed its name to the PRI Calles was a Masonic anti-clerical president who closed many churches and deported a number of priest and nuns Calles portrayed himself as a socialist but it was a front Vincent Padgett writes as the money poured in all those at the top embarked upon a pattern of conspicuous consumption in fine houses luxuries cars clothing and jewelry which marked them as something totally apart from the rank and file they professed to serve30 Calles was the president of Mexico until 1928 but was so powerful that he continued to run the country behind the scenes Padgett also writes He Calles picked a relatively obscure man Pascual Ortiz Rubio as the PNRs candidate to succeed Portes Gil at the end of the provisional presidency and arranged a lopsided victor over the PNRs popular opponent Jose Vasconcelos33 Since
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