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Looking Back: A review of June news from the last 50 years

In this monthly series, we republish a few of the headlines from our December editions 10, 20, 30, 40 and 50 years ago.

1968

Brubeck at the Plaza

pg21Bullring history was enriched by one more chapter Monday afternoon at our Plaza de Toros El Progeso, and if you were a witness to the happenning … well, you were nowhere.

No, it wasn’t the return to the ring of Gaona or a {mano a mano} between Capetillo and Armillita with all the uproar such a billing would create in Guadalajara.  No bull came roaring out ready to massacre that daring man in a traje de luces waving his eye-blinding red cape, and the music was not exactly the traditional paso doble.

No, man … it was JAZZ!

And the mano a mano had three cuadrillas vying for top honors.  Yes, it was the Dave Brubeck Quartet with gerry Mulligan plus the Cannonball Adderley Quintet and the Newport Jazz festival All-Stars delighting all the buffs who filled the sombra at the Plaza.

Highlights of the concert was the special musical rapport Gerry Mulligan and his baritone sax created with Dave Brubeck in the short time they have been playing together, and the use of European baroque and traditional Iberic rythmic patterns with touches of antique African musical expressions especially by the Adderley aggregation and the Brubeck combo. A standing-room only concert was played that evening at the Teatro Degollado.

1978

Thieves hit hotel, bank

A security guard gave the signal to four friends to attack the Hotel Tapatio’s discotheque, relieving it of 100,000 pesos. In a confusing web of legal technicalities – or errors – the five men were captured, jailed, released and then some were jailed again while police searched for a sixth man whom they said was also involved. All except the security guard had previous police records, including a payroll robbery in May in which one of the gang was supposedly protecting the female cashier while the payroll was in transit.

1988

CIA focus on Mexico

After publishing 30 analytical reports on Mexico during the past six years, the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency still considers the Republic to be the major national security headache for the administration of President Ronald Reagan.

Between 1947 and 1979, U.S. intelligence gathering agencies apparently gave Mexico a low security rating and, historically worked closely with the nation’s security agencies, especially the Federal Security Directorate. Toward the end of the 1970s, Mexico City housed the CIA’s largest overseas station outside of its Langley, Virginia, headquarters. As President Luis Echeverria Alvarez (1970-1976) warmly supported the left-wing regimes of Chile’s Salvador Allende and Cuba’s Fidel Castro, bilingual intelligence gathering activities were wound down. When Mexico’s next president, Jose Lopez Portillo, took office in 1978, cooperation increased, but then his support for Nicaragua’s Sandinista rebels became a stumbling block to warm diplomatic relations.

The 30 reports focused on the agency’s top concerns regarding Mexico’s future: economic stability, political continuity and the spread of socialism and communism. CIA analysts doubt that the 60-year-old PRI government is able to cope and adapt to growing pressure within the Republic for social and economic change, and worried about socialist influences that could rock the political system.

1998

Water debate boils over into the street

Negotiations to save Lake Chapala took on a bizarre turn last week when the opposing sides wound up debating for half an hour in the street.

Jalisco Governor Alberto Cardenas was to meet on neutral ground with opposition members of the state Congress, but they never got past the front door of the National Chamber of Commerce on Avenida Vallarta.

Two months had passed since a tie vote by the legislators killed the governor’s plan to obtain a Japanese loan for water projects. The opposition wanted the media to cover this meeting, but the governor explained that the participants could speak more freely and explore matters in more depth in private, before giving out information to the press. He added that it was not the custom anywhere in the world to hold such meetings with the media present. Ironically, while this exchange took place in the street, reporters surrounded the contenders and recorded the unprecedented spectacle on tape and film. Although nobody lost his temper, tension rose and soon the impromptu session broke up.

2008

Swede takes charge

of El Tri

The appointment of Sweden’s Sven-Goran Eriksson to coach the Mexican national soccer team garnered both praise and criticism from players and commentators this week.

Eriksson, 60, coached the English national team for five-and-one-half years, taking them to the quarterfinals of two World Cups. Although English fans and the media never warmed to the ice-cool Swede, his record was considerably better than most of the English-born coaches that preceded him.

He has won 19 championships and cup competitions in Italy, Portugal and Sweden during his 31-year managerial career.

Eriksson assumes the reins of the Mexican team at the start of the arduous 18-month-long regional qualifying competition for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. The phlegmatic Swede replaces the legendary but hot-tempered Hugo Sanchez (Mexico’s most successful ever player), fired in March after failing to qualify the under 23-team for the Olympic Games.

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