Reporters on the Job

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Meet the Mayor of Acapulco: Staff writer Sara Miller Llana is not a big fan of doing interviews with an audience. But she had no choice with the mayor of Acapulco.

"I sat in his sprawling office, with probably 30 other people. Some were his staff members, but the majority were ordinary citizens waiting for him to hear them out on sanitation complaints, standing there to give him gifts (he got a soccer jersey while I was there), or waiting for his signature on some document."

She was surprised that the interview even occurred, given the noncommittal responses she got from his spokesperson when Sara first called to set up a time and place for it. "Oh, just call when you arrive," she was told.

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Sure enough, when Sara's bus from Mexico City arrived, she called, and was invited over to City Hall. "I was led through several doors, into waiting room after waiting room, until I finally entered his office – which was also essentially a waiting room.

"I had read a lot about him before arriving – that he's an amateur singer, a one-time actor, and eccentric. Sure enough, he pulled his shirt up to show his belt notches and prove how much weight he's lost. And he showed off his collection of miniature Harley-Davidson motorcycles," she says.

"It struck me that he is one of those people who is amazing at giving you his complete attention for 10 minutes, and then moving on to the next," she says.

David Clark Scott
World editor

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