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Citizens of the Global Village Think About the Year Ahead : MEXICO

January 01, 1991|Times correspondents asked a variety of ordinary citizens in different countries about their hopes and fears for 1991. Their answers ranged from the blatantly political to the guardedly personal.

Elena Poniatowska, author sometimes called Mexico's "teller of stories that some want forgotten."

"The environment is a tremendous problem in Latin America. There is not enough water. We have cut down forests, causing erosion. It is a terrible problem and, now, no one cares about Latin America. From the 100 years of solitude that (Gabriel) Garcia Marquez wrote about, we are fading into non-existence. It is becoming increasingly easier to erase us from the map. Because of perestroika , the eyes of the world are on the Eastern European countries.

"Latin Americans are in a pilgrimage toward the United States. We are reconquering Texas and California through immigration.

"Mexico, instead of becoming closer to the rest of Latin America, is strengthening ties to the United States and Canada. The Mexican middle class goes to New York to see the Met exhibit of 300 years of Mexican culture. Then they go to New York galleries to buy the work of Mexican painters. It's so absurd. They come back to Mexico with a painting by a Mexican artist that they bought in dollars.

"The great problem for Latin America is for people to learn to demand their rights. Now, people do not even know what their rights are. They just accept it when their children disappear. We are fighting inertia and apathy. I do not have much hope. I cannot see a way out."

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