Mexican standoffishness

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The next travel advisory you read is not likely to be about the Balkans or China. It may, in fact, be about Houston. Yes, Houston, Texas. But it won't be a U.S. State Department-issued alert, it's coming from the Mexican government.

Before your nationalistic, patriotic, we're-number-one sensibility kicks in, consider Mexico's claim that the death's of three Mexican citizens at the hands of Houston police officers necessitates such an advisory.

If the shoe were on the proverbial other foot, such a move wouldn't sound so outlandish. After all, our State Department has put out plenty of paper advising travelers to avoid various areas south of the border. But is this payback? It's mighty coincidental that Mexico would suddenly start warning its citizens about U.S. travel at a moment in our history when police brutality, a war in Europe and a scary alliance between China and Russia vie for top-headline status on a daily basis. Especially seeing as the alleged incidents in Houston date back to 1997.

Only one thing's certain: This will hand George W. Bush a campaign issue par excellence. Stay tuned.

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