The Plaza of Cuautitlán de la Plata

Letters to the Editor: A “short brown’ Oaxacan was Mexico’s greatest president. What say you, Nury Martinez?

(Editor’s Note: The following is a letter we received in the mail from Nury Martinez, author of La muerte del oaxaqueño (“The death of the Oaxaca Native Americans”) who wrote:

“In this letter, I do not speak for the entire oaxaqueno nation; my letter is limited to a particular community living under the same government: the community of the municipalities of the city of Cuautitlán de la Plata. I have no doubt that the letter will provoke a great deal of controversy, but all of us are citizens of Cuautitlán de la Plata, because it is located in our homeland, where we make our living.

“When my family arrived in Cuautitlán de la Plata with little money, because we were poor, we lived in the main plaza, in a house where my parents lived, with about 60 other families. The plaza had a fountain in the middle, in a pool of water, surrounded by four tall pillars, a square and a colonnade; this plaza was the centre of the town, the meeting place of the whole town.

“The plaza was full of people, all were very beautiful, women with long, dark, straight hair. There was no distinction between the men and the women, the men wore white, the women were always wearing a hat.

“We were poor, but the plaza gave us everything that a small family like ours could imagine. I lived in the plaza, where I grew up, I lived in the plaza with my family and was with my grandparents. For me, there is nothing else I would like more than to go back to the plaza where I lived, where my family was, to the plaza that gave us everything, where we lived with my grandparents, where we gathered with many people of the same nationality. That plaza never changed, it keeps the same atmosphere now as it had then: it keeps the spirit of the old times.

“The plaza where I live is not big, the city

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