Strains Across the Border
Old Issues Inherited by New Presidents
The most conspicuous absentee among the 15 Latin American chiefs of state who witnessed the signing of the Panama Canal treaties in Washington this month was the President of Mexico, José López Portillo. Whether his absence was due to the press of official business, as announced in Mexico City, or to Mexico's dissatisfaction with the treaties, as reported in Washington, López Portillo's decision not to participate clearly nettled the Carter administration, which was seeking to create an image of Latin American solidarity on the Canal issue.
The course of U.S.-Mexican relations has seldom run smooth. In earlier times the United States sent military expeditions into Mexico, occupied the capital for nearly a year and seized half of ...