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Dear FRONTLINE,
Frontline did it again. One of the best presented pictures of the current real mess in Mexico. I was there as a tourist late last year and every time I brought up questions about politics, it was like I hit a nerve. Everyone I spoke with there told me the bits and pieces, but your program gave a wonderful job of tying all the parts together and brought up the latest about the current investigation going on.

An excellent program, very thought provoking, and unbelievable all at the same time. Keep going with the follow-up as things unfold. This could be a serious problem for us in the US if the connection is made with US banks too! Thanks again for the fantastic reporting and presentation of your findings.

Michael Clardy Naperville, Illinois
mxc@sybase.com



Dear FRONTLINE,
Thank you for the great program presented last night in Frontline, re: the Salinas' corruption. I have worked in Mexico in several occasions and I have always heard about corruption in the government. It is terrible, but the saddest part of all, is that the Mexican people are so used to it that they do not question much. A political appointment in the federal government is almost like an invitation to get rich easy in a few years. Drug smuggling, kidnapping, money laundering, robbing the country,, etc. is not new in Mexico (as well as in other Latin American countries). Sometimes I wonder how they succeeded in selling a good image of the country to the US and Canada NAFTA negotiators.

Thanks for the documentary film your great public service.

Oakton, VA


Dear FRONTLINE,
What does all this attention focused on apparent corruption in a foreign country mean to the citizens of the United States? Are we to spend more time and resources to alleviate a problem , by most accounts, caused by the insatiable appetite for drugs (Illegal) and fast money by people here in the US?

I don't believe we are ever going to resolve another countries corruption problems while we are a free wheeling, fast living, politically immoral and fiscally bankrupt society. Let's get off this "just say no to drugs" merry-go-round. Do the only thing that can have the greatest impact on the illicit drug trade - legalize and control distribution of drugs, i.e.; cigarettes, liquor, prescription drugs, etc..

The members of our society who continue to use and those who may take it up drug use, won't have to behave as criminals, we won't have to spend billions of dollars "fighting" crime and more of us may sleep better at night.

Greenwood Lawrenceville, Georgia
djg1943@mindspring.com



Dear FRONTLINE,
You have no right to accuse Mr. Carlos Salinas of anything, first of all, he is not in exile because he is afraid of being charged with Colosio's murder, he is in exile because he might be afraid of his life. You should also write an article on the ruling party dinosaurs that where affected by Salinas policy changes and reforms, like former president Luis Echeverria Alvarez, who has been blamed by Salinas has the mastermind of the Colosio murder, and also on how a close familiar of Echeverria was convicted for nexus with drug cartels. Of course that there has been no comment of this stories in Mexico, because of the power that dinosaurs have on the press and on the actual government. About Raul Salinas all I have to say is that the Mexican authorities haven't prove any accusation on him, and they have done some incredible and amazing terrific stories to blame him, involving witches and corpses to it. So I don't think that you can blame him if the Mexican general attorney hasn't been able to do so. With reports like yours the people in Mexico get more confused and they won't take another possible murder and corrupt but the Salinas, all because of irresponsible acts of people that write stories without reading and understanding the last years in Mexico's story.

Fernando Fabre Mendoza Mexico D.F.
a15008@vince.uas.mx



Dear FRONTLINE,
Your report on corruption in Mexico was an excellent piece of reporting. I have been a follower of Frontline for some time. This was a fascinating and hard to believe chain of events. When I view something like this I feel like I am living in another dimension of society.

(Keep up the good work)


Dear FRONTLINE,
Political assassinations, corruption, politicians getting rich while in office, a widening gap between rich and poor, cronyism, etc.- are you sure you weren't talking about the United States?

You know, when it comes to other countries we call it corruption; here it's called lobbying. Drug money has corrupted the political systems of Mexico, Colombia and other countries; corporate money has corrupted our political system.

Mexico has a one-party system, while we claim to have a two-party system. But I don't see where it makes much difference whether Democrats or Republicans are in power- they're one and the same.

Waiting for the revolution.

Lou Cohan
Cypress, CA.
The United Corporate States of America



Dear FRONTLINE,
Saw the show last night on Mexico and the accompanying mess. You did one fine job of sorting the mess out; rather laying out all (or most) of the puzzle pieces. Now... do any of them FIT anywhere? Who got other monies the traffickers paid out (it usually goes out hand over fist wherever they think they can grease a skid)? Your show painfully pointed out the immense power of their money, but I would love to know if any sums were handed to non-Mexican entities or individuals. A question to keep in mind.

Thank you for a fine production!!

Missy Lee
ThoraGray@worldnet.att.net



Dear FRONTLINE,
THE ARROGANCE EXPRESSED BY THE SWISS BANK OFFICIAL IS BEYOND BELIEF.

THE SWISS ALWAYS TRY TO PORTRAY THEMSELVES AS AN ULTRA PASSIVE, NEUTRAL SOCIETY.

I DO NOT BUY THIS HYPOCRITICAL ARGUMENT. WHY DID THE SWISS ACCEPT MONEY FROM NAZI GERMANS IN THE PAST? IS THIS BEING NEUTRAL? NOT BY A LONG SHOT. IT IS GOING WHERE THE BUCK WAS AND IN THE CASE OF TODAY, WHERE THE BUCK IS TODAY. THE SWISS ARE VERY GOD AT TURNING THE OTHER CHEEK AFTER AN EVENT HAS TAKEN PLACE, THIS A VERY CONVENIENT ATTITUDE THAT THE MEXICANS NOT DARE ATTEMPT UNDER ANGLO EYES. CLEARLY, A DOUBLE STANDARD EXISTS AND SHOULD BE SERIOUSLY QUESTIONED.

THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A COMPLETELY OBJECTIVE HUMAN BEING. NEITHER INTERNATIONAL LAW OR JOURNALISM IS NEVER OBJECTIVE.

WHEN THE SWISS OFFICIAL EXPRESSED "COMPLETE AMAZEMENT" OVER MEXICAN CORRUPTION, ONE CANNOT HELP BUT SENSE A LEVEL UNJUSTIFIED ARROGANCE TO SCAPEGOAT ON MEXICO FOR CORRUPTION ON THE DRUG TRADE ISSUE THAT IS GLOBAL IN NATURE, NOT REGIONAL.

WHY DIDN'T YOU EVER COVER THE DEMAND SIDE OF THE DRUG ISSUE? MILLIONS OF MIDDLE CLASS ANGLOS ARE NOT BEING HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR THEIR WORLDWIDE UNMATCHED DEMAND FOR DRUGS?

IT IS VERY EASY TO KEEP PROMOTING THE OLD MEXICAN "BANDIDO" STEREOTYPE. IT WILL NOT SELL UNMATCHED ANY LONGER.

WHAT ABOUT REAGAN'S USE OF DRUG MONEY TO FUND THE CONTRAS IN NICARAGUA? WHAT ABOUT THE THOUSANDS OF CIVILIANS THAT WERE RAPED BY THE U.S. TROOPS IN THE INFAMOUS PANAMA INVASION TO DETRACT A WORLD THREAT, MANUEL NORIEGA THAT JUST A FEW WEEKS PRIOR, WAS BEST THEN, PRES. GEORGE BUSH'S BEST FRIEND. (HE POSED WITH MR. NORIEGA IN A PICTURE).

THERE IS NO DENYING THAT MEXICO IS UNDERGOING PROFOUND CHANGES TOWARD A MORE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY. FURTHERMORE, ONE CANNOT DENY THAT CORRUPTION IS RAMPANT. NEVERTHELESS, CONTRARY TO WHAT YOU PORTRAYED AS YOUR CHIEF MESSAGE. CORRUPTION IS NOT SINGULAR TO LATIN AMERICAN GOVERNMENTS. PLEASE DO NOT BE SO BIASED.

I HAVE MET BOTH HENRY KISSINGER AND MORE TO THE POINT, MR. CASTANEDA. MR. CASTANEDA IS NOTHING SHORT OF AN ARROGANT "THINKER" THAT REALLY DOESN'T THINK BEYOND HIS ARROGANTLY COMFORTABLE LIFESTYLE THAT IS NOT IN TOUCH WITH MEXICO PROPER. ( FOR THE RECORD I HAVE READ MANY OF HIS WORKS, INCLUDING HIS WORK WITH MR. PASTOR).

HE TRAVELS THE WORLD WITH ACADEMIC, STERILE ANSWERS, TO FLESH AND BONE PROBLEMS. MR. CASTANEDA IS NOT THE AUTHORITY IN U.S. / MEXICO RELATIONS. HE HAS THE RIGHT TO EXPRESS HIS VIEWS, YET YOUR OVER DEPENDENCE ON ONE INDIVIDUAL SHOWS A LACK OF PROFESSIONALISM ON YOUR PART.

YES, RAUL SALINAS IS AN EMBARRASSMENT TO THE SALINAS FAMILY. YET YOU DIDN'T EXPLORE WHO HANK GONZALES NOR CAMACHO SOLIS ARE. THESE TWO GENTLEMEN, PART OF THE OLD PRI "DINOSAURIOS".

BOTH HANK AND CAMACHO SOLIS ARE OLD HARD LINERS THAT WILL DO EVERYTHING WITHIN THEIR POWER TO HOLD ON TO WHATEVER POWER THEY HAVE. THEY ARE SO GREEDY, THAT THEY'D RATHER SEE MEXICO FALL THAN GIVE UP THEIR OLD, TIRED FORM OF SINGULAR GOVERNMENT CONTROL.

DEMOCRACY IS PREVAILING IN MEXICO. LETS REMEMBER, HOWEVER, THAT IT WAS OUR GREEK BROTHERS AND SISTERS THAT INVENTED THE CONCEPT OF DEMOCRACY.

FURTHERMORE, LETS ALSO REMEMBER THAT DEMOCRACY HAS NOT PREVAILED IN THE U.S. WITHOUT ITS OWN SHARE OF DEEP SHAMEFUL EVENTS.

IN THE VIETNAM WAR, AFRICAN-AMERICANS AND LATINOS WERE THE FIRST ONES TO BE PUT IN THE FRONT LINES. 10% OF THE CASUALTIES IN VIETNAM WAS SUFFERED BY THE LATINO COMMUNITY WHEN WE ONLY ACCOUNTED FOR 6% OF THE POPULATION AT THE TIME.

LETS NOT FORGET THAT 500,000 MEXICAN AMERICAN VETERANS FOUGHT AGAINST THE NAZI REGIME DURING WORLD WAR II. ( IRONICALLY, THE SAME NUMBER OF BOTH MEXICAN AND U.S. CITIZENS! WERE DEPORTED TO MEXICO DURING THE TIME. IT WAS CALLED OPERATION "WETBACK").

I COULD GO ON, AND ON. BUT I AM NOT INTERESTED IN DESTROYING MY COUNTRY THAT I ADORE AND RESPECT SO MUCH. WHAT IS AT STAKE HERE, HOWEVER, IS BALANCED JOURNALISM. YOU ARE NOT PROMOTING A FAIR PORTRAYAL OF THE SAD CONDITIONS THAT THE DRUG PHENOMENA HAS PUSHED US TO.

IF THE U.S. WERE TO BE SO IMMUNE FROM CORRUPTION, THEN WHAT HAPPENED TO JFK? ROBERT F. KENNEDY? DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING? MALCOLM X? ( THESE KILLINGS ARE
STILL AFFECTING US TODAY)....

THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME


Dear FRONTLINE,
I found your study of corruption in the Salinas administration in Mexico fascinating but frustrating. Obviously a story this complicated, colorful, and confusing is a challenge to shape. You chose to fashion the tale around the,' guilt or innocence of the Salinas brothers,' and spent an inordinate amount of time on vapid, repetitious, predictable denials of culpability by their wives and nieces... Countless fascinating questions were, consequently, barely addressed. How was the chief prosecutor's murder case so quickly destroyed, and he discredited? And by who? What happened in the wake of the dinner where the "billionaires" were each asked to donate $25 million to the Salinas campaign? Who are the REAL powers down there (buying off the nw 'drug czar' etc.)?

One of the show's most fascinating figures was the one millionaire Not invited to that meal- who seemed to be possibly the Only successful capitalist in the country Not mired in a cesspool of corruption. I'd like to see an hour examining his career: what he has experienced, and how he has survived...

Even more frustrating: the crucial questions (which you failed to ask)- Not, "What did Pres. Salinas know and when?" but "Who in the Bush and Clinton Administrations- the State Dept., World Bank, DEA, and CIA- knew about this corruption? And did They turn a blind eye?

Can anything but gross incompetence explain a U.S. Intelligence community oblivious to those bank transfers, and/or the impending Devaluation of the Peso? And, if they (and these Administrations)did in-fact know: was theirs not criminal negligence?

You suggest that the core of the story may emerge through, "following the money,"but stopped short of tracking Stateside profiteers (beyond Citibank). You failed to focus on NAFTA (its supporters and opponents- those who won & lost), on both sides of the Rio Grande. You might look at a report (far briefer than yours) that ran on the all-too-hard-to-see PBS show, "Rights & Wrongs" (on NAFTA)- as a powerful portrait of the personal and political toll and tale which dwarves the soap-opera-side-show of the family drama you anchored your story to.

Perhaps the material I missed demands-even merits- another full hour of its own. I hope you'll consider the possibility. Your failure to crowd potential corporate sponsors (like- I dunno- say, Archer/Daniels/Midland), and/or the culpable in Congress, fuels suspicions that critical investigation is folding (on your show, and network) in the face of fears of offending political & fiscal powers.

Sincerely,
Adam Block



Dear FRONTLINE,
Your production of Money, Murder and Mexico provided a fascinating hour inside the labyrinth of corruption and venality that has plagued that unfortunate country. The strength of the show was in the revealing comments of the people interviewed: when we see scholars like John Womack praising the Salinas brothers as "reformers," US officials embracing these criminals, and Citibank presidents greedily grabbing their narcodollars -- we have to wonder if the problem is limited to Mexico.

However, the murder section of the show seemed a bit weak in terms of investigative reporting of this vast and terrible subject. Also the show perhaps did overdo the interviews with expensively dressed and coifed women who innocently proclaimed their ignorance of minor details like $80 million in their Swiss bank accounts.

Instead, a top documentary would offer a clear portrayal of how the parasitic actions of the Mexican ruling classes affect the daily lives of 95 million decent Mexicans, how the so-called business enterprises of the nouveau riche consist mainly of plundering former state monopolies and converting them into their own private fiefdoms, etc.

Still, even with its omissions and excesses, Frontline has been courageous and insightful as usual. Thank you!


Dear FRONTLINE,
Excellent program. I scanned the written press in Matamoros (El Bravo) this morning and could not find a reference to your well documented and shocking analysis. In what follows let me share my comments:

It is impossible for you to cover every aspect of this, but 1)I believe you must investigate the arrest of drug dealer Carlos Enrique Cervantes de Gortari, second cousin of the Salinas brothers, who was captured in Newark in the early 90s. Incidentally the possible family relationship of Carlos Enrique with General Enrique Cervantes, Mexico's Defense Secretary must be investigated. 2) Your program seemed to indicate that Zedillo is clean, may be but it is apparent that he has not been able to act properly. Perhaps he is afraid of more revelations regarding the drug lords contributions to his presidential campaigns (The Cabl Peniche, Hank, Madrazo affair). Some members of his party who are still in office like Gamboa Patron, Barlett and Beltrones seem to be beyond prosecution.

It is imperative for the U.S. government to stop trying to save the corrupt and immoral system that have prevail in Mexico since 1929. PRI is beyond redemption and there is no way to clean it up. It is a system to entice every one to own a favor to someone so that no one is free.

Specific action may be 1) to release information collected from Mexicans now under the witness protection program and give Zedillo and his government the opportunity to act accordingly. 2) Press criminal charges against Ruiz Massieu the Salinas Brothers and any on who is connected the narco industry. Do not only be concerned with their money. The Mexican government is using the confiscation of the Money to minimize the revelations, saying that they were obtain from criminals interested on shortening their staying in jail, and that the main purpose of the US is only to obtain the money.

On the part of the U.S. press it is important to maintain and perhaps increase your level of coverage and monitor the performance of the electronics media in Mexico. No many Mexican read Reforma, La Jornada, El Financiero, Proceso o el Universal. In the state of Tamaulipas, for example, there is no way to listen to any of the national news programs who are beyond governmental censure, no commentary or analysis programs on current news critical to the program are also broadcaster by local stations. The few radio stations that manage to maintain independent news and commentary programs are also controlled. Whenever, sensitive news break out, the stations are induced to skip their news or commentary programs with uninterrupted music programs. This is achieved by excreting pressure and by economic incentives. Examples of this is the "W" station in Matamoros. Note that no comment is addressed to TV coverage as Televisa and TV Azteca remain loyal government allies.

Conclusion
For things to change in Mexico a new open and free system is necessary. As the future of the corrupted political elite is at stake, it is not likely that they will step down on a peacefully manner. The boat is unavoidable to be rocked. If the U.S. maintains its current course of helping Zedillo and the PRI indiscriminately it will have terrible consequences for the U.S. and Mexico. Remember Iran.

A prosperous, democratic and free Mexico will be the best ally to the US. Not so an unstable and corrupt Mexico. By promoting the flow of free ideas, a further chaos in Mexico can still be avoided. Press Mexico for freedom of information. It is true that Salinas and Zedillo head Governments sympathetic to the U.S. in comparison with their predecessors. But they have imposed their reforms the same way other Mexican socialistic governments have done, in an undemocratic and dictatorial manner. The Mexican system, namely the PRI has no ideology, it just serve the interest of the President in turn. The PRI who approved NAFTA is still the same that applauded the banks nationalization and the third world philosophy of the International Socialist.

Another idea may be for you to allow an open forum where this and other messages are posted. Thank you for your attention and coverage.

Brownsville, Texas


Dear FRONTLINE,
As a native of Mexico and first-hand witness to the rampage that our country has suffered for over 60 years to the hands of the still ruling PRI, I share my thoughts on this fine piece of TV news-content program:

1. Now that this can of worms is open, the former supporters (accomplices), like our Minister of Foreign Affairs, want to distance themselves from the Salinas' curse. We know full well that the degree of involvement was total. Like him, the former Minister(s) of Finance, Commerce, Communications, etc. should be held accountable for their actions in the tangled web of drugs, power, murder, political control, and permeating all: ILLEGAL,(dirty) MONEY, waiting to be laundered.

2. The borders and limits to this corrupt system DO NOT stop at our borders. On the contrary, on this globalized existence the links (and therefore responsibilities), permeate into other countries and several Institutions, (primarily financial), play a key role in the cleaning business. Let us watch and see if guilty parties are also found on others' home's turf.

Keep your eyes peeled to this south, we promise further entertainment.

Armando.



Dear FRONTLINE,
I am currently a senior at Marquette University and in my undergraduate studies I have dealt with the Mexican economic situation very in-depth and feel in need to speak out in favor of Mr. Carlos Salinas de Gortari. My argument is based on the Machiavellian idea that a good leader is a strong leader. A strong, powerful President needs to be in control of his country, taking it to higher grounds. And this is what Mr. Salinas achieved in his six-year term. After Salinas's presidency, the country had become modernized; in a better shape than before. This is called improvement. A major achievement of this being a very nice five letter word: NAFTA.

However, I feel quite uncomfortable when people continually and repeatedly strive on blaming the whole socio-economic-political fiasco on one man. Mr. Salinas has proved himself a worthy leader, a strong manager, and a strategic politician; in essence, a very intelligent man. And the benefits he sought and conquered for the country of Mexico need be noted.

In order for a president to be effective, he/she needs strength and power to sustain and finance the goals of overall utility for the nation. Maybe some under-the-table maneuvers took place, nobody will ever know, but an increase in the level of utility and efficiency was achieved under the Salinas term and the country of Mexico is better off with productive government programs such as NAFTA.(Notwithstanding, independent from the peso crisis.)

The problems of Mexico are more complex than Carlos Salinas de Gortari. They have deeper roots than a single man, a single family, or for that matter, a select group of dozens of wealthy Mexican business groups and families.

My wishes for Mexico in the future consist of strong political rule analogous to that of Mr. Salinas de Gortari, better strategic political/economic alliances, and greater use of morality and ethic in the power elite. Mexico is a country that has all the resources to become a world power. There is so much that hasn't been correctly managed that it contributes to the degradation of nationalism, the loss overall esteem of being a Mexican, and a loss of trust in the eyes of the present superpowers of the world. Mexico has astounding potential, and the country is in need of a commanding President willing to take the country a step above, by any means.

Carlos M. Lamoutte Navas
Economics student - Marquette University



Dear FRONTLINE,
The program on April 8th uncovered the true suffering the people of Mexico have gone through under the one party government. Both the former President and his brother have a lot to answer, because the evidence against both men is serious to say the least. However, the role of American leaders must not overlooked. We must recognize that members of the US government have acted corruptly in aiding these two criminal in their reign of terror. It is time that the people of Mexico get a true democracy, and not have to be tortured by greedy, corrupt human beings who poison their people with the trafficking of drugs.

Eduardo Mora
New York, New York


Dear FRONTLINE,
Excellent "Murder, Money and Mexico," your Frontline of April 8, 1997. Here along the Texas-Mexico border we agree that Andres Oppenheimer's "Bordering on Chaos" is superb. Major media in both Mexico and the U.S. have done a very creditable (though belated) job on Mexican corruption.

But wait a minute--who benefits besides the corrupt oligarchy in Mexico? The story not yet written is who shares these billions of narcodollars. The story is not done because Americans and American institutions share the boodle, the same Americans who attended Yale and Harvard with the Salinistas. We nibble at this but we never take the full bite. The situation in Mexico becomes worse but as Oppenheimer says, it is not like the Mexican Revolution of 1910. Rather, it is like Chicago in the 1930s and it is AMERICAN politicians, bankers, lawyers, etc. who are the money launderers.

Jack McNamara
Alpine, Texas


Dear FRONTLINE,
As a Mexican citizen I feel offended that the name of my country is associated so lightly by the US media to the terms corruption, drug traffic and money laundering. Mexico, as a nation, is not involved and does not endorse such activities. Most Mexicans are neither drug smugglers, nor drug abusers; consumption of drugs in Mexico is low. Widespread corruption related to the traffic of drugs circumscribes to the government and its officers. Drug related activities are engaged by criminal bands. The average Mexican has nothing to do with drugs. By the same token, drug money is kept in just a few hands and does not benefit,nor affects, the largest segment of Mexican population. US media is always unfair in the sense of ascribing to the whole country what should be blame in just the involved. By law in this country all person has to be regarded as innocent until proven guilty in a court of law; meanwhile US media has found guilty the whole nation of Mexico of drug traffic, money laundering and corruption. I do not imply there is not a large list of Mexican people that should be thrown in jail, I am saying that is offensive to innocent Mexicans bystanders to be regarded as part of the most powerful drug smuggling activity in the world. Aside from that, US media fails to ascertain the share of blame there is in the population of the US. US people is, by far, the largest ensemble of drug abusers in the history of mankind. Should be possible shut down the border between Mexico and the US to the drug trade, drugs would be pouring through Canada or other American ports. Demand of drugs is the reason for the offer. Corruption does not stops on the southern shore of the Bravo river. 50 tons of cocaine are not just smuggled through Mexico; they find their way into de US and are later on distributed in the streets of most, if not all, American cities.

Do you think, according to the standards discussed in the House of Representatives, that the US would get a certification for full cooperation in the war against drugs, should that be possible? I do not think so. But naming whose to blame does not resolve the problems at hand. Mexico has to overthrown its corrupted political rulers and the US has to be effective in educating, preventing and rehabilitating its people to discourage drug abuse. I wonder why the US media does not pay more attention to the UN reports on consumption of drugs. Drug abuse statistics in the US are skyrocketing, and you have to concede that any data related to drug consumption has to be considered in a best case scenario, since drug consumption is not an issue that people will be willing to discuss openly in front of a camera.

One last comment, Mexico is not, as of today the major producer of drugs in the world (even though some drugs are produced in Mexico indeed). The most popular, and used, drugs are produced in other countries different to Mexico, like Colombia. In this case Mexico's involvement is created by the fact that Mexico happens to be in the middle of the largest producer of cocaine and shares a 2,000 miles long border with the largest market of drug consumers in the world. Responsibility has to be ascertain in proportion to each country involvement. Mexico is not the only one to blame. No matter what, the average Mexican means no harm to their neighbors and Mexico's corrupted authorities and criminal bands are a source of shame for all Mexicans.



Dear FRONTLINE,
I am writing to compliment the folks at Frontline for an informative and insightful look into the under world of the Mexican drug cartel. Unfortunately it's taken me this long to discover the story behind the malaise of the Mexican politic machine and the subsequent devaluation of the pesos. It is concrete news stories of this nature that's given me hope that the news media in this country's not totally bankrupt. Kudos to Frontline and PBS for endeavoring to report from a foreign journalists perspective. The mantra of the next millennia should be a break from the scitomas of tabloid journalism.


Dear FRONTLINE,
Being a chicano student, Frontline opened my eyes to the corrupt state Mexico is in, and how corruption can bring a great country to its knees. The shadow of corruption should only hang over the Mexican Government and not over our people and our heritage. My understanding of why so many of my brothers and sisters come to the U.S. is much clearer. Maybe this show will offer other viewers a different new prospectives on why immigration from Mexico and other Latino countries to the U.S. is so great. On the other hand, this show should pose new questions on corruption of the U.S. Government and its agencies. !Viva La Raza!

Respectfully Yours,
Fernando Ricardo Arreola
Las Vegas, NV


Dear FRONTLINE,
Even though the murder and underhanded activities of Mexican business and government are deplorable, isn't the United States partially responsible?

It seems a bit hypocritical of us to condemn their atrocities without pausing to reflect that the drug traffickers of Latin America are killing each other for the citizens of the United States. As a society we should accept responsibility for our own actions and not act as if it were someone else were to blame. If there was no market, there would be no product.

Eric Mott
Bozeman, Montana
imsgemot@mathfs.math.montana.edu



Dear FRONTLINE,
I saw the program on corruption in Mexico and the Salinas Family. I wanted to let you know it was a pleasure to see that these people are not untouchable on this side of the border. I realize that for most people who watched, this story sounds very incredible, but for us who have lived in Mexico, this is no surprise and probably only the beginning of the tip of the iceberg.

It is a sad commentary of affairs, when one has to leave his country to have any chance to live like a human being. Please keep up the good work, and perhaps you would consider keeping on top of this story. I sincerely believe most of my people are hard working honest people, but the system down there does not reward these qualities.

Best Regards,
Francisco Gonzalez
The Woodlands, Texas
Paquito314@aol.com


Dear FRONTLINE,
Excellent report on the political corruption in Mexico. However we should not be surprised about the level of corruptness observed during the Salinas' presidency. This type of scandal keep appearing every six years when a new president takes over. It occurred with Echevarria, Lopez Portillo,Salinas, and eventually we will see it also of current administration. La Mordida" (or the bribery) is an intrinsic part of the Mexican political system.

Luis Arroyo
Newark, NJ


Dear FRONTLINE,
Thank you for your very informative program about the present conditions in my former country. I am flabbergasted but not surprised by the level of corruption. What amazes me the most is that those of us living in the U.S. may not comprehend that, as far as drugs are concerned, Americans are the largest consumers of drugs.

The market is here. What is the U.S. doing to bring education, awareness, and an open and honest look at how to diminish the need for the drugs. It seems apparent to me that the U.S. drug need is insatiable and the corruption in Mexico unbreakable. Nice combination for the current status. I hope that we can find a way out of this entanglement. Maybe this is the dark side of NAFTA.

Jimmy Crisanto, MSW
Hesperia, CA
nuggeti@msn.com


Dear FRONTLINE,
"Murder, Money, and Mexico" was another soapy expose, not unlike the FRONTLINE on the Medillin Cartel and Pablo Escobar. "Norcodollar" is a recurrent term in drug war vocabulary.

"Narcodollar" indicates where the problem is. It is not in Mexico or Colombia. Eliminate the demand and you have won the war. This is an American problem.

Here in the Welfare States of America our heroes are millionaire sports superstar felons and rappers. We feed ourselves network TV and motion pictures filled with drugs, violence, sex, and intrigue.

The moral of the story and hopefully a future FRONTLINE is: "DON'T THROW STONES IF YOU LIVE IN A GLASS HOUSE".

Lloyd Burrows
El Paso, TX


Dear FRONTLINE,
Your production of Money, Murder and Mexico was a fascinating program about the complex of corruption that is Mexico today. I was shocked to see "scholars" like John Womack telling us how the Salinas regime was one of reform. Officials of the American government, like officials of Citibank, have profited in many ways by the Salinas regime. I believe those hundreds of millions in bribes paid by the narco-trafficantes did not just go to Mexican nationals; I think American officials, politicians and bankers are on the take.

I believe the murder conspiracies carried on by Mexican officials and by the narcotics traffickers deserved more exposure. I believe, also, that some comparisons between the obscenely rich ruling class of Mexico and the obscenely poor working class and camposinos would have been appropriate. Additionally, there are frightening parallels between upper-class life in Mexico and upper- class life here in America.

My complaints are minor, however. My praise is major. Thank you for exploring those aspects of the time-bomb sitting to our south.

Peter Webster


Dear FRONTLINE,
By shear luck I happened to catch your program, and was I ever glad I did! I for one am grateful of such journalism, but I am saddened to say that this is something I have known for a long time. My father was first-hand witness to much of this corruption back in Mexico, and it is amazing how much of it went on. The more I watched your show, the angrier I became at the responses of these people. Every answer seemed to be practiced, and as a Mexican who has witnessed this corruption, I cannot believe these people have the nerve to say to millions of people that they did not know what was going on! These are definitely true politicians. I'd like to state that this has nothing to do with race or ethnicity, but more with 60+ years of corruption and inequality started by the PRI. It is time for the people of my country to finally end this intolerable situation.

Thank you so much for uncovering the lies and hopefully start a search for the truth.

Edna Sanchez
Houston, TX
sph1946@utsph.edu


Dear FRONTLINE,
Magnificent! Presented a complex subject in a logical, linear lesson. Didactic yet entertaining. Loved the juxtaposition of Foreign Minister Guerrilla saying no corruption at the top because of safeguards followed by the info that Gen. Rebollo had been bought by the narcos. (He was detected not by safeguards, but by a courageous young army officer who was his driver blowing the whistle. Also Paulina Castanon saying she trusts the Swiss and the Swiss investigator saying the bank deposits looked like drug money. Great, beautifully done.

Congratulations!


Dear FRONTLINE,
I was mesmerized by your presentation on Mexico's current state of affairs and could not help but find many parallels to the Philippines. The excesses of the Marcoses, the murder of Benjamin Aquino and the billions of dollars the Marcoses stashed away in foreign banks. Unfortunately, Switzerland only has laws against drug money but none against money received for extortion, graft and corruption. Both the Marcos and the Salinas governments were strongly supported by the American government. Both enjoyed celebrity status while they were in power. Both countries were colonized by Spain. (The only element missing is the drug angle.) I look forward to Part 2 to see if Salinas and family will be able to enjoy the "fruits" of their labors.

ma. josefina prack
izzyp@concentric.net


Dear FRONTLINE,
I enjoyed your program, but found it failed to embrace the global nature of the problem, and it risks therby leading viewers to unfruitful generalizations such as "Wow! The Mexicans are really corrupt!"

Sadly, money gained the upper hand over violence in Mexico. The Government of Mexico failed to fulfill its mandate to uphold the laws and keep drug mafias under control. It could have done so, perhaps, with the threat or use of violence, through the military or police force. But, a combination of the Mexican "legal culture," an aversion to violence, and a sense of the inevitable -- "who is going to stop $20 billion dollars from getting what it wants" usurped the envisioned role of the Government. Looking forward, there are no easy answers.

Violence, drugs, capitalism and democracy make a nasty cocktail. We have an unusually unattractive mix of circumstances. The mafias are now powerful enough to wage their own violence. The Mexican Government, having lost its claim to be the highest threat of violence, is weak in legitimacy and leadership. The big neighbor, unable to control its demand is looking for ways to stem the supply. As Mexico and the US stare at each other, and then at this problem, the triangular tensions grow. Where is the answer? Who is going to pay the price of stemming the drug flow? The Mexican Government, what is left of it, does not have the strength or will power to fight the mafias. The US has failed to either legalize drugs, or launch a nasty internal war which seems contrary to its prized individualistic freedoms.

Unfortunately, it is unlikely that rational answers will prevail. We may be doomed to see a sub-optimal and short sighted response to this long term fundamental problem. I fear that, the more powerful US decides to use Mexico as its "shield" to lead the fight against the drug war. If it does so, it may find this "shield" disintegrating in its hold. The heightened violence will lead Mexico into chaos. The US will then be facing the drug problem on its own, with an ever weaker neighbor.

Clearly there is a need for cooperation to solve this issue. Will two democracies be able to trust each other and cooperate? Or will finger pointing lead us in the path towards disaster. Addictive behavior is irrational, and an addict driven industry thrives in irrationality. Reason and long term thinking in a bilateral relationship between two "democracies" seems a difficult goal to attain, but it is what we must aspire towards.

Alex Antebi
antebi@jpmorgan.com


Dear FRONTLINE,
I want to congratulate you for a very fine piece of work. I am a Mexican citizen, living in the US, and although I am ashamed by the level of corruption during the Salinas administration, and the lack of commitment by the current administration to clear and investigate these matters in depth, I am optimistic that programs like this one, and the commitment of other governments (i.e. Switzerland), will bring pressure towards this end.

I am sadden because hunger and despair are rampant with the poorest in Mexico, while these crooks and their families complain of mistreatment. I hope Carlos will join his brother Raul soon in jail, and I hope they will rot there forever. I also hope that all the money that they stole and laundered, will find its way back to the people. Once again, I congratulate you for your work.

Ivonne P. Lara-Curzio
Knoxville, TN
laracurzioe@worldnet.att.net


Dear FRONTLINE,
Your special called, "Murder, Money, Mexico", was very informative and interesting. After spending a semester studying Mexican History, Culture, Politics, and Economy, this special put everything into perspective. I was watching the special and telling myself that I had gone over the information and had read about it while I was down in Mexico City. Thank you for having such a special on Mexico. The only thing that I was upset about was the fact that I started viewing the special a little bit too late. But I am glad that I was able to see the bit that I did get to see.

Chicago, IL


Dear FRONTLINE,
I just saw your program on Mexico and the continuing problem of drug money corrupting Mexican government. Concerning the program itself, I was not exhilarated by timing of the report. All of the information presented by Frontline in this particular show has been available for some time, but it is now all being reported after American officials have already publicly condemned Mexican anti-drug efforts. This show would have been much more effective had the airing been before the defamation of Mexico's former drug czar. Why was the show not put together until now?

Concerning the presentation of the program, I was surprised at the conclusions and generalizations that the show felt free to include. e.g.

  1. When showing the interview with Salinas in Dublin, the show made the blatant generalization of Salinas' media manipulation by not giving an "on the record" interview. A more fair and accurate portrayal of Salinas would to have pointed out his previous manipulations of the media and then suggest that this was another such instance of it and let the viewer make their own decision.
  2. When the fund raising dinner of Salinas' was brought up where he asked for $750 million dollars from the thirty top Mexican businessmen, the show again made another broad generalization. This one was about how politics and business corruption have gone hand in hand throughout modern politics in Mexico.
When viewing this web page I am struck by the high concentration on presentation and lack of emphasis on content. This web page is much better than most large corporations that have lots of money to spend on such a public oriented "hot" media like the web (e.g. US. Robotics, Intel, E Trade; all very profitable companies that are computer driven, yet this page is much better than most). With the number of bits that are devoted to the presentation of this page, much more information could be given and a few less pictures. And where does PBS get the money support such a high quality page like this when it basically screams for more support and funding everyday. If I support any organization having such a high profile page, I certainly am glad it is PBS, but why then the huge difference in how underfunded the organization is? Is PBS crying wolf about its funding problems and has so much money to burn that it can support stylish web pages and light thinking documentaries or is it changing its presentation.

Curious to see what comes out next,

Todd Buehring


Dear FRONTLINE,
I found tonight's FRONTLINE topic "Money, Murder in Mexico" very fascinating. As an American citizen that frequently makes trips to and has adopted Monterey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico as a hometown, I have found that the majority of Mexican citizens are against the nation's ruling party--"El PRI."

Ironically, some of the "Monteregianos" (citizens of Monterey) I have spoken to have praised Carlos Salinas de Gortari for many of the city's improvements--being that Monterey is a reflection of the years of US. influence and Mexico's modern city.

As far as Colosio's assassination, I feel that this was, as the program put it, a result of PRI's fear of his willingness to bring ACTUAL reform to Mexico.

Thank you very much for an informative program! I'm very impressed at the coverage!

Sincerely,
Rudy Cisneros
Mercedes, Texas/Monterey, N.L. Mexico


Dear FRONTLINE,
I saw your program on Mexico and the Salinas family. I am not surprised that free-market reforms would go awry in a country that has such a disparity between the rich and the poor. But I am not writing to try to explain Mexican economy nor apologize for the Salinas. The debate on such issues goes on in Mexico and Latin America as you somewhat pointed out in your program.

The most surprising, and perhaps irking, aspect of your program is the sudden appearance of Swiss morals. I am only left wondering whether the Swiss will use the Salinas money to pay the Holocaust victims the funds they so gladly accepted from nazi Germany, and kept for fifty years!

Sincerely,
J. Fombona


Dear FRONTLINE,
Your program on Mexico immediately filled me up with indignation. Indignation ripened through years of frustration and sorrow. Corruption in my society (Mexico City) when I was growing up (1950's) was not only an assimilated part of life but also a learned fact from past history.

Today, it is never more true that "the more things change, the more they remain the same" (worse in this case). This is evident in your documentary. No surprises. Not to the normal people of Mexico. But as life would have it, the sword has two edges: When the last day came, after centuries of tolerance, when the common man who consumed drugs in Mexico was considered no more than a limitrophe eccentric, was the day when his vitals began to acquired a dollar value. Through a slow process, the lives of individuals linked to drugs began to change monetarily. The laws of the country changed to control the income. When the US provided the possibility of wealth through drugs and had to ,at the same time, respect the sovereign legalities of such a government, (as if dealing with one of its own federal law complying states), it began in fact to dig its own grave. It will continue to do so until it puts things in the right perspective. Not only from the point of view of relations with Mexico, but also from the real management of drugs. It is a two edge sword because both sides are as eager and as blind about their commitments.


Dear FRONTLINE,
I have seen the destruction of drug shipments through Southwest Texas, and have seen many poor young Mexican-Americans set up by larger dealers, and offered huge amounts of money (a few thousand dollars)to provide an "arrest" for the US Government. These foolish youth are the pawns tossed to the police so that larger shipments may pass through the border region. I find it hard to believe that the US Government knows nothing about this Cartel set-up to have young Mexican-Americans arrested, as the drugs continue to flow. Mexico has always been corrupt, and we Mexican-Americans knew this when we left soon after the Revolution of 1910. It seems only natural that the PRI would continue the corruption that they inherited, and that they have continued to practice for the past 80 years. It is very sad that such a rich country (Mexico) suffers such poverty while such crooks become millionaires. A wonderful show -- but you could do another on the corruption at the border.

Chicago, IL


Dear FRONTLINE,
Mexico is corrupt from top to bottom and always has been. That drug general of ours is a complete dunce. The Mexican problem of corruption and drugs will never be solved without US. military intervention...and despite how unfortunate that may sound, it will probably have to happen because they are supplying most of the dope to this country and to deny that Mexico is not the main culprit is just plain stupid--unless our officials have succumbed to money too. Have they?? Why don't you check that out. The naive amongst us may be surprised...but I'm not one of them.

Jim McGovern
mcgov004@gold.tc.umn.edu


Dear FRONTLINE,
My compliments. I have been following the story for months, in some of the best newspapers in the US, but you were able to tie it together so that I got a much better understanding of the whole story. But -- you could have devoted more time to the story of the psychic, the mystery skull, and the firing of the attorney general, which was a fascinating sideshow.

Terry Dannehold


Dear FRONTLINE,
The most shocking aspect of your documentary about the current situation in Mexico is that for years the American press ignored the corruption, the spilled blood of those fighting for democratic and social re vindication, the rampant immunity and invulnerability of the Mexican presidents, the poverty of the dispossessed in a country which boasts 20 names amongst the richest men in the world. This has been going on for years. Paraphrasing an old saying; Poor Mexico, so far from democracy, so close to Harvard... and the world's largest drug market on earth. [I AM REFERRING TO THE WELL KNOWN "POOR MEXICO, SO FAR FROM GOD AND SO CLOSE TO THE UNITED STATES". SINCE I STILL GO TO MEXICO FOR BOTH BUSINESS AND PLEASURE AND I HAVE WITNESSED FIRST HAND THE HABITUAL REPRESSION OF THE CURRENT REGIME, I WOULD APPRECIATE IF MY NAME IS NOT POSTED.]

Columbus, Ohio


Dear FRONTLINE,
Murder, money & Mexico is showing a real problem that Mexican government is actually facing. I am pretty sure that several top level government executives are involved in this matter. Corruption has been part of our culture since the Aztecs. US officials shouldn't be surprised, this is not a first timer, Mexican corruption is just using drug for this purpose, along with others.

As a Mexican I do not believe at all that Raul Salinas was involved with the drug cartel . He used to be a top executive at Conasupo, the main source for almost any kind of commodity to the people. It is popularly known since almost the very beginning of Carlos Salinas's term that Conasupo was in a very bad shape due to that corruption. Raul didn't need any drug cartel, he was untouchable, a semi god. As an example, Mexico used to be a major producer of sugar,meat and/or corn, now we have to import it.Again, he didn't need to deal with drug traffickers.

Even Mr. Carlos Hank started his fortune ( let's remember that he is a billionaire ) in Conasupo as well. I think that by accusing Raul Salinas, the Swiss might be benefited, since they have no one to return. this is not the first time they have done this again, I am not trying to release Raul or Carlos Salinas mistakes, but I think that they didn't mastermind any murder or where related to the drug cartels. I think we should leave this matter to other top executives. Carlos and Raul where so perverse, that they knew exactly the possible consequences that would have happened.

Coral Gables, Florida


Dear FRONTLINE,
Frontline, as usual, presented an informative and detailed expose on the corrupting influence of drug money in the Salinas Administration. However, in its zeal to saturate us with a compelling level of detail, the program, while leaving us better informed, did little to further our understanding of Mexico. The question of individual culpability or that of the Salinas family, is of little consequence compared to how we view Mexico both in its historical context and contemporary situation.

The use of "Robber Baron" is perhaps more revealing than intended. Mexico is a young emerging democracy. Certainly the history of the US in its first century as a democracy is replete with scandals and corruption. How would our fledging judiciary, police and political institutions have fared if tempted with the 19th Century equivalent of $20 Billion a year in contraband? In contemporary terms, is Mexico any more corrupt than countries in South America or Asia in similar stages of development?

Finally where is our culpability? Where does the narco money come from? Where is our responsibility when we treat drug addiction, not as the public health issue it is, but insist on criminalizing it, thus compounding manifold the damage here and abroad?

Santa Fe, NM


Dear FRONTLINE,
While I found your story on Mexico interesting, it begs the question of how our present and past administrations in the US. can expect us to believe that they are not equally corrupt. We are the worlds remaining superpower and we cannot, or is it we WILL NOT control our borders. While the US. media is quick to point out the corruption in other countries, it is rather odd the same scrutiny is not applied to those who, in our country, have power to stop the flow of poison, but do not have the will to do so. My question to Frontline and America is this: Why not ?

Zanesville, Ohio


Dear FRONTLINE,
I found your story concerning the corruption in Mexico extremely sad. Mexico is a country of great wealth not only in monetary terms, but in its culture, people and traditions. As a Mexican I feel this news is a wakeup call to the people of Mexico to put a stop to this corruption and abuse of the Mexican people. If the people do not standup for their rights it is very obvious that there is a long line of people waiting to take advantage of them and get rich. The idea of public service is a farce. I hope Americans can now understand why Mexico are in such desperate straights, because our leaders put us there.

Sincerely,
Dr. Blanca E. Lares-Nelson
Denver, CO


Dear FRONTLINE,
Frontline did an excellent job exposing the corruption in Mexico to the US. population. Unfortunately, those of us who travel, do business in or live in Mexico know first hand that the level of corruption that still exists in Mexico can never be related through a television program. It is something that must be lived to be understood.

Stephen A. O'Barr
Phoenix, AZ
flaco@asu.edu


Dear FRONTLINE,
I watched your report " Money, Murder, Mexico" and came away with a profound sense of shame and personal insult. The arrogance and despotism shown by Mexico's corrupt public servants is an insult to all Mexicans wishing for just and honest government.

My disillusion grows when I think that Mexico is not a country governed by law, but by the illusion of it, and that it is through sheer inertia that the country now runs.

Jose Luis Corral
San Diego, CA


Dear FRONTLINE,
An excellent program tonight! We, close to the border, are very concerned with what is going on in Mexico. It is crucially important that the American public get the real picture of what our NAFTA "trading partner" is all about.

The people of Mexico are wonderful, the government is a horror. If we want to help the Mexican people, we will finally have to open our eyes to the truth about the government.

Many thanks.
Alex Yaron


Dear FRONTLINE,
As a Mexican native I believe it is great to inform the American public about the corrupt ways of the Mexican Government It is necessary for all Americans, especially new and old Mexican-Americans to pressure the US government to exercise sanctions at all levels. Only a new and truly democratic government in Mexico will provide a safe environment for the prosperity of Mexico. Under legal reign drug smuggling and illegal immigration could be stop and reduced. Efforts to stop drug trafficking will not be effective unless the whole Mexican government is revamp. Millions of drug dollars had bought politicians and " legit " entrepreneurs. These people control all aspects of life in Mexico. It is almost impossible for a decent and honest citizen to get ahead. If drastic measures are not taken, the flow of these evil dollars and substances will continue to make its way into America and will continue to corrupt the minds and souls of the Americas sons. Lets stop these river of drugs and crime. Demand economic sanctions.

Rick Martinez
matz@pionet.net


Dear FRONTLINE,
Your investigation was interesting and clearly points out they way business is conducted in Mexico is different from the US., i.e. written documentation is not required, a man's word is good enough.

I did volunteer work in Mexico and was fortunate enough to attend a presentation where ex-President Carlos Salinas gave checks to brick makers who were trying to reduce pollution in Mexico.

Maybe members of Salinas family are corrupt by US. standards. Maybe I was charmed by a genius. But my instincts tell me ex-President Salinas cared about his people. The brick makers who met ex-President Salinas that day were touched and inspired by his presence. Lets give the man all his do.

Many people in the US. share in the corruption of Mexico. Especially the people who buy drugs. I would like to see a follow up to this story titled $20 Billion donated to drug lords by my people in the US. used to corrupt and empower killers in Mexico and Asia. Obviously too long but you have some creative studs who will make it catchy.

Let not cast suspicion on others without looking at ourselves. Ex-President Salinas did some good to help his country and his people. There are some very bad people in the US. how about pointing out a few of them... Maybe we don't have one big bad person...maybe the US. is made up of a lot of elite people who are bad some of the time. I believe that your creative efforts can show that a large number of drug users in the US. are functional and that little do they know, but they are supporting pure evil. If you can portray drug use as a character flaw or weakness that can be overcome in otherwise good people you might be able to convince one young adult not to pay money for a substance that lines the pockets of a South American Murder hiding behind the good intentions of his brothers.

Thank you for taking on tough assignments,

Cypress, TX


Dear FRONTLINE,
I want to congratulate KPBS for a great work reporting on the latest political happenings in Mexico. I believe that an unbiased analysis of the Mexican political situation arising from the presidency of Salinas de Gortari can be summarized as follows:

We Mexicans are just paying the price for having sat idle and not caring much about exercising real democracy, even if it meant facing death. We still can't do away with a corrupt system derived from having the PRI in power when it has proven itself over and over again to be corrupt and ineffective.

I personally don't blame Salinas for Mexico's demise. He alone has probably done more for Mexico, as far as reform is concerned, than any other president. He just collected a big fee for it. By exercising real democracy Mexicans could have done the same long time ago, but we decided to not act. He acted, he collected.

He privatized banks and inefficient government owned business and industry. He did away with collective farming that proved for more than a half century to be inefficient and only a way to perpetuate the ruling party in power by keeping the farmers ignorant, poor and dependent on subsidies. He ended protectionist practices that only benefited a few long privileged industrialists by opening markets to foreign trade.

There is still a lot that can and must be done. We still need to see how Mexicans will benefit from remaining the "owners" of Mexican oil, electric plants and other so called "strategic resources or activities", knowing that Mexicans can't even own stock in those enterprises.

We created the monster that now we fear. We must now pay to make it go away. A down payment has been made.

Sincerely,
Heliodoro Castaneda
CHULA VISTA, CA


Dear FRONTLINE,
I was amazed at the clarity you gave to the situation in Mexico and grateful for perspective you allowed interested but non-expert people to gain. I was extremely curious, however, as to the financial holdings of the Americans you interviewed and I was very disappointed that your show portrayed Bush and Clinton as Salinas' dupes rather than as the central players that they must have been.

Perhaps looking at the correlation between US. aid and a 3rd world nation's repression (political and economic) would lead to insights. Another good topic might be the fate of unions (not controlled by the state) in third world countries. I think your show represents one of the last bastions of non-corporate truth and I'm grateful for it.

Thanks,
Marc Glassman
(Quantitative Analyst/Computer Programmer)


Dear FRONTLINE,
The program on Salinas was well done and riveting. I must again state, as I have done many times to the real "Mexicans": Look at the faces of these people running (and ruining) Mexico. Are they the brown, round faces of the true Mexican? Or are they those of the light skinned, blonde-haired Spanish. The Conquistadors are still raping Mexico; only their families have remained in power since they pillaged the country the first time. It's time for the Mexicans to take their country back.

Richard A. Poedtke
Vista, California
rapoe@pabell.net


Dear FRONTLINE,
I was astounded about the amount of money involved in the Mexico drug trade. I suspect that with that amount of money one could buy out most of the politicians and key government officials on this side of the border, otherwise how can one explain the NAFTA agreement(an illegal treaty which could not withstand a constitutional challenge) and the Mexico bailout by Clinton after the peso devaluation. Certainly Clinton and Gore are suspect in light of the recent revelations about corrupt dealings with the Chinese Government.

Maybe it's time to legalize drugs, which would be the lesser of two evils. At least that would put the drug dealing scoundrels out of business and help to clean up rampant government corruption.


Dear FRONTLINE,
Clearly, this disturbing story demonstrates how the policies and actions of a country's powerful leader can lead to incredible corruption and social division in a very short period of time. Again, the United States, a country driven by the symbol of democracy and equality, had to learn to trust thy neighbor.... Mexico. Sadly, the Salinas brothers proved again that the United States picked the wrong horse, sold itself to a myth, and failed the people of Mexico, who simply desire the same benefits of a good job and political freedom that we have in America. It appears Carlos Salinas didn't learn much at Harvard, except international banking (or was it Raul who took that course?).


Dear FRONTLINE,
I thought your program about the involvement of Mexican politicians in international drug-trafficking was very informative and interesting. I only regret that the same degree of perseverance and interest has not been observed concerning Oliver North's drug operation in Costa Rica. As a former translator for this group of the Nicaraguan Resistance in Costa Rica, I am still amazed at how the American news media enthusiastically condemn foreign drug traffickers and at the same time condone a presidential pardon for those involved in EXACTLY the same type of activities when they involve the drug-trafficking operations of the CIA, FBI, and Oliver North which were used to circumvent the prohibitions of the Boland Amendment concerning financial aid to the Contra. Since I personally participated in many activities within the Contra at that time, I know for a fact that the whole thing was not investigated thoroughly at all I hope some day the truth will come to light and the rest of the witnesses will finally be called.


Dear FRONTLINE,
Very interesting program, just one suggestion. Why your reporters let the Salinas Family members got away with such a callous answers like Raul Salinas wife saying that she never doubt where her husband money came from. The guy never made a job that paid that kind of money so how can anybody believe that money was legal.

Juan Jose Ramirez Moreno
Montreal, Quebec


Dear FRONTLINE,
While it may be true that Mexico has become a major channel for the distribution of drugs to the United States, I believe that the Frontline story on TV was somewhat skewed. I have been reading some of the material on the PBS internet page, and from this I gather that you had evidence for presenting a different picture. The massive drug shipments that according to the program go trough Mexico, seem to "dissolve" once they cross the river. Those shipments had a remittent, but they also had an addressee.

Where were those shipments headed for? If only a fraction is actually detected in Mexico, is the rest detected in the US? How, if its difficult enough for migrant workers to cross the river, how do tons of drugs make their way to the US? Is it harder to detect a container than it is to deport an illegal alien?

I am not arguing that there is nothing wrong in Mexico, but I believe that the American public can get a picture that is very distant form reality. When a true picture of the problems our to countries face is presented, the chances of finding a solution fair to both parties will be greater.

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