Chiapas With the July 6 elections, and the electoral gains registered by the two main opposition parties, the political life of Mexico is clearly moving toward a more democratic, pluralistic and participative society. These are hopeful developments. But still, in many parts of the country, especially in the very poor and largely indigenous southern State of Chiapas, conditions continue to worsen.
So tense are the relations between, on the one hand, organized groups of landowners and operatives of the ruling party, the PRI, and on the other, the bishops, priests, religious and other pastoral workers of the Church there, that the Diocese of San Cristσbal de Las Casas has come to see itself as a Church under persecution, a persecuted Church.
Enclosed in this mailing is a recent (June 21) communique from the diocese, and a copy of Archbishop McCarrick's letter to Bishop Samuel Ruνz in response to the communique.
Migration Issues Included also are two other documents from Mexico, dealing with the worsening crisis at the Northern end of the country, the US-Mexican border and the migration issues that are becoming ever more critical.
- CEM Statement. On April 11, just days after the April 1 coming into effect of the 1996 US immigration reform act, the Mexican Bishops' Conference (CEM) issued the enclosed declaration. In forwarding the document to the USCC, the General Secretary described it as "a genture of our appreciation to [the US Church] for their support of the numerous Mexican people who travel to the United States looking for a better way of life, and who are witnesses to the charity of so many bishops, priests and laity in the North American parishes. It is a question of building brotherhood among all people in accordance with our faith in Christ."
- "Breaking down myths." Jorge Bustamante, President of the Colegio de la Frontera Norte, is a long-time student of the migration flows between our two countries. He recently presented a paper to the Bishops' social affairs commission, "Breaking down the myths about Mexican labor migration to the U.S," a summary of which is included.