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Mexican party wants no religious images in government offices

Posted: Friday, August 03, 2001

MEXICO CITY (AP) -- Angered by an official who hung a crucifix in his office and invited employees to Mass in a government building, Mexico's largest leftist party has filed a complaint with the city and plans to campaign against religious images in government offices.

Debate on church-state separation has sharpened since President Vicente Fox, an active and outspoken Roman Catholic, took office in December and members of his National Action Party won several borough presidencies in Mexico City.

One borough president, Jose Espina, hung the crucifix in his private office, calling it ''a strictly personal affair.''

The leftist Democratic Revolution Party said the crucifix, and a letter on official stationery inviting government employees to a Mother's Day Mass at borough offices, violated Mexico's constitution.

The Constitution says officials ''cannot establish any kind of preference or privilege for or against any particular religious group.''

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