He begins with the French Revolution of 1779, explaining that while it sparked technological progress, the students, factory workers, laborers, and farmers were excluded from the generated wealth.
He says that in Mexico in 1810, similar discontent raged and led to independence from Spain. In 1848, in France and Germany, the working class rebelled. In Austria and in Italy, the story was similar.
Moving forward through the centuries, we see many significant periods and events, most of them triggered by the inequality of society. Those that had… had a lot; those did not have… had nothing!
In 1968, all over the world, the same inconformity was expressed (Paris, Tokyo, Kent State…) and nowhere was this more true than in Mexico. The country is still reeling from the Students vs. Army confrontation at Tlatelolco.
In 2000, the right wing National Action Party (PAN) party finally triumphed over the 70+ year hold that the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) party held in the country. The citizens hoped for more equality but according to Mr. Fuentes, the changes affected by the new leadership might have been significant in the 1970s but in 2011, they are laughable.
And now, Mexicanos are once again claiming their rights in Mexico. More than 100,000 marched for 2,000 kilometers, from Mexico City to Ciudad Juarez – their message is loud and clear: ¡Basta! – Enough Violence!
Throughout the world, there is a demand for institutions, societies and lifestyles that meet the local culture’s needs but also contribute positively to the international panorama.
The article ends with an admonition that must be foremost in our minds during this time of change. We need to open our eyes and realize that everything we do today will impact our lives tomorrow. The “house of cards” we live in must be given more substance.
Carlos Fuentes (born November 11, 1928) is a Mexican writer and one of the best-known living novelists and essayists in the Spanish-speaking world. He has influenced contemporary Latin American literature and his works have been widely translated into English and other languages.
As a long time resident of Merida, I am amazed by the number of other nationals (mostly Americans and Canadians) moving to the city. The recent statistics from Immigration claim there are 6,000 permanent foreign residents (this does not take into account the winter guests and other part-timers)
My favorite Carlos Fuentes books is “Aura.” It is available in English. I feel that as international residents of Mexico, it is beneficial to read works by the country’s writers. It shows respect for our adopted country and the citizens appreciate it. (not to mention how much you’ll enjoy the books!) This website has a comprehensive list of Latin American works that have been translated into English.
*All images are from Google