Though there were some missteps overall the story was a success and a model that should be a point of reference for the United States. Instead of treating the Guatemalan refugees of the 1980’s as some unwanted package to be shipped back, Mexicans in and out of government led a pragmatic effort to enrich their country with those who needed room to breathe and live. Like many today in the United States, vocal elements in Mexico looked on the Guatemalans in Chiapas and saw a threat instead of desperation, thought of burden instead of charity. As a whole, Mexico as a nation did not listen to those protests, instead choosing compassion and humanity for those thousands whose desperation for a better life caused them to ignore borders. In the present situation the U.S. could do no worse.And it wasn't just the refugees that the Mexican government and people hosted. The Central American revolutionary groups and solidarity committees were very busy in Mexico from the 1960s into the 1990s. They raised money there. They transported guerrillas through Mexico to other countries, often Cuba. Some stayed in Mexico for medical care. Families of combatants fled to the safety of Mexico. Weapons were also smuggled from the US through Mexico to Guatemala (which I am not sure was part of the deal).
The Guatemalan guerrillas were welcomed in Mexico as long as they did not launch attacks from Mexican territory (mostly the 1970s and 1980s) or link up with the Zapatistas (the 1990s). Most of the commanders lived in Mexico for several years of the war as well. While the Salvadoran FMLN used Nicaragua as its rearguard, the Guatemalan URNG used Mexico.
And with regard to El Salvador, the Mexican government, as well as the French, recognized the guerrilla-led opposition as a ''representative political force" on August 28, 1981.
The statement said the guerrillas had a right to take part in negotiations aimed at ending the conflict. It also called for a restructuring of El Salvador's armed forces before ''authentically free'' elections could be held there.
(In Washington, the State Department criticized the statement for suggesting that the leftist parties represented anything more than a small minority of the Salvadoran people. But the department praised the document's expression of concern for El Salvador and its right to self-determination.)
In recent months, Washington has endorsed the Salvadoran junta's rejection of several offers of international mediation in the conflict, including initiatives by Mexico, Venezuela and the Socialist International. But this is the first time that France, under the new Socialist Government of President Francois Mitterrand, has taken such a public stand on El Salvador.
In their statement today, Mexico and France seemingly anticipated charges of interference in El Salvador's internal affairs by pointing out that the conflict was ''a potential threat to the stability and peace of the entire region'' and therefore required international attention.
Mexican officials noted that neither Government had broken diplomatic relations with the junta nor formally recognized a government in exile. ''We're not intervening in El Salvador's affairs,'' a Mexican official said. ''We're just recognizing a liberation movement.''
The sources said France and Mexico were prompted to act by evidence that neither the military-civilian junta nor the so-called Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front seemed able to achieve a military victory over the other and by the increasing number of civilian deaths.The Salvadoran civil war would end in military stalemate over ten years later.