The Miami Herald
June 4, 2000

Front-runner urges opening U.S. border

 TOLUCA, Mexico -- Mexico's presidential front-runner, Vicente Fox of the
 conservative National Action Party (PAN, in its Spanish initials), spoke with
 Herald world staff writers Morris Thompson and Ricardo Sandoval. The interview
 was conducted in Spanish and translated:

 The following are edited excerpts:

 Q: What would a Fox victory in July mean for Mexico?

 A: A great party. We will have converted to reality the dream of most Mexicans ...
 of a new, honest and transparent government that's accountable. . . . It also
 means an end to the impunity and corruption that have marred our country for so
 long. . . . It means we will be able to compete economically on the world market
 in the 21st century and provide opportunities for all Mexicans, many of whom now
 see no future with the PRI.

 Q: What would a Fox presidency mean for relations between Mexico and the
 United States?

 A: The only way we eventually can end this excessive migration is to open the
 border under a planned project of from five to 10 years . . . so that in the end the
 border will allow free transit of workers and people, just as we have done with
 commerce, professional services and capital. . . . But what's important is a North
 American common market . . . an association of countries with common
 economic and social interests.

 Our long-term objective should be to equalize economic development and wages.
 That does not mean dragging down wages in the United States, but raising wages
 and conditions for workers in Mexico.

 On drug trafficking, we've asked American lawmakers to end the certification
 process [in which countries are judged in their fight against drug trafficking by the
 U.S. president and Congress]. It's unilateral and worthless.

 Certification must be replaced with a multilateral enforcement and cooperation
 agreement among drug-producing nations, transit nations such as Mexico and
 consuming nations like the United States, and include either the Organization of
 American States or the United Nations. . . . For our part, we will attack the
 foundations of organized crime in Mexico -- something the ruling party has never
 done -- and leave this country under the rule of law.

 [Improvements in] these two areas will put us in a better position to move forward
 with our strong commercial relationship with the United States.

 Q: What makes Vicente Fox run politically?

 A: There are two types of Mexicans. Those who say they were born to govern.
 These people call themselves sons of the revolution, but now think they own this
 country. . . . The rest of us work like mules to survive and barely feed our families.

 Q: How confident are you that the July 2 election will be honest and clean?

 A: I have great confidence in our Federal Elections Institute. But I have no
 confidence in [Mexican President Ernesto] Zedillo, my opponent [Institutional
 Revolutionary Party nominee] Francisco Labastida and the ruling party. . . . They
 will surely use all of the dirty tricks they've learned over the years to rig elections.
 So it's up to the elections institute and the election observers and us to keep
 them from using dirty tricks.

 We'll succeed because we will arrive at Election Day with a victory already in
 hand: a 10-point lead in polls that they can't steal from us in a democratic