When Citizens Disagree on Even the Time of Day

Paul Eggert eggert at twinsun.com
Mon May 10 18:34:03 UTC 1999

On today's op-ed page of the LA Times, Jorge G. Castan~eda, a
political scientest and writer in Mexico City, used time zones as a
metaphor for the political fragmentation and social dissolution of
today's Mexico.  Among other things, he writes:

   One example involves the time zones in the country and the absurd
   debate that took place in March as to who would adopt daylight
   saving time.  Some states have adopted the hour change, others have
   not.  Some are on U.S. Central time, some on Mountain time and some
   on Pacific time, while the one that used to go by Eastern
   time--Quintana Roo, where Cancun is located--decided to go back to
   Central time.

   While Mexico City Mayor Cuauhtemoc Cardenas wisely desisted from
   heeding his rank and file and accepted the federal government's
   decision to move clocks forward on April 1, it was touch and go for
   several days.  The country cannot even agree, literally, on the
   time of day.

I assume that the ``April 1'' here was the date of Cardenas's
decision, not the date the clocks actually moved (which was presumably
April 4 as usual in North America these days).  We know about Quintana
Roo and have some idea of states that fall into all the categories
mentioned above, but it perhaps some states have changed since last
year, and it would be useful to know exactly what happened in Mexico
this spring.


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