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

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


UAG library advances

The Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara has received a grant of US$800,000 from the Mary Street Jenkins foundation for the completion of its new library. The building, central to the new campus in Lomas del Valle, is now in its last steps of construction of 8,854 square meters on six floors, with a tower. This university has sprung from a corn field in just over a year.


New IVA tax unleashes price hikes

The new Value Added Tax (IVA in Spanish) is playing havoc with commerce in Mexico. Inflation is running rampant and folks feel helpless to fight against it.

There have been many accusations and complaints that IVA has been improperly applied, as well as about abuses by greedy businesses taking advantage of ignorant consumers.

Many medicine prices jumped up 50 percent January 1, although only a seven-percent IVA tax was applied. Airline and highway toll are given a 10-percent IVA charge. It seems only food is getting a break.


Mexico eyes Panama invasion

For obvious historical reasons, most Mexicans immediately sympathized with Panamanians following the December 20, 1989 invasion by the United States. Mexico has suffered from numerous military encounters with its northern neighbor, including U.S. occupations of Mexico City (1847-1848) and Veracruz (1914).

But political commentators have been careful not to defend former Panamanian strongman Manuel Antonio Noriega. General criticism has centered on the right of one country to invade another in search of an alleged drug trafficker. In Guadalajara, many Tapatios wondered whether Mexico could have faced a similar situation in 1985 following the kidnapping and assassination of U.S. DEA agent Enrique Camarena Salazar.

President Bush is widely seen as interfering in the political self-determination of a Latin American country. The Salinas de Gortari administration expressed “its most firm condemnation of the use of armed force as a method to solve any international conflict and especially when one country tries to resolve the internal problems of another.”


Mandatory insurance law enforced

As of  January 1, individuals driving without car insurance for both personal injuries and property damages are subject to a 70-peso fine. State officials estimate that only 31 percent of the cars in Jalisco are currently insured. State congressmen criticized the law, saying that 70 percent of Jalisco’s drivers cannot afford to pay to insure their cars, a cost that would amount to at least 600 pesos. By January 3, more than 1,000 drivers had been fined for not having insurance. Their compliance was checked after they had been stopped for another violation.


Gay adoption not in the cards in Jalisco

Jalisco law specifically states that only male and female couples who are married may adopt children, the head of the state’s leading orphanage pointed out in early January 2010.

Amparo Gonzalez, director of Guadalajara’s Hogar Cabañas, said it would be “fatal” for a gay couple to adopt a child. She was talking in the wake of the approval of a law allowing gay marriage and adoption of children by gay couples, which was passed in the nation’s capital by the left-wing Partido de la Revolucion Democratica (PRD)-dominated legislature.

The move has been fiercely attacked by the Catholic Church and most other Christian denominations. The PRD only has one seat in the Jalisco Congress, so any chance of a gay marriage or adoption law being passed in this conservative state is remote.

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