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'Chicanos Hit a Nerve in Mexico'

June 14, 1988

I was disappointed with the simple conclusions drawn by Frank del Olmo in the face of angry Mexican reaction to the proposal by the Chicano caucus ("Chicanos Hit a Nerve in Mexico," Op-Ed Page, June 5) that the U.S. government do something "to ensure that the elections in July are honest."

He appears to give credence to the PRI's position that this is just another case of U.S. interventionism with his reasoning that Chicanos shouldn't be expected to make the United States more sensitive to Mexico because they are after all Americans with a right to reflect America's belief that it is her responsibility to change the things that trouble her about the world. There is certainly truth in this declaration, but is this truly the issue?

Del Olmo never seriously questions the abuse of nationalist pride by the representatives of a government that is accused of keeping itself in power through electoral fraud or that has been charged with encouraging the nation's media to limit their coverage of opposition candidates.

This nationalist cry against intervention has become a tool in the hands of corrupt governments seeking to stay in power despite internal and external pressures. Panama strongman Gen. Manuel Noriega, too, saw the value in rallying nationalist and anti-American sentiment in his country.

Americans, including Chicanos, should not be intimidated by this indignant outcry of wounded nationalism when it is actually a cover for those who wish to usurp the freedoms of their citizens without interference from those north of the border or anywhere else.

EMMA TORRES

Manhattan Beach

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