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Latin American authors bewildered by Donald Trump: 'I just can't believe it'

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Some of Latin America’s leading literary figures gathered at the Oaxaca International Book Fair and discussed the president-elect and what lies ahead

At the 36th edition of the Oaxaca international book fair in Mexico, Donald Trump’s name was on everyone’s lips. Not a single of the festival’s readings or panels went by without some mention of the uncertainty that Latin America faces during the presidency of a man who kicked off his campaign by characterizing Mexicans as criminals, killers and rapists. A man who said they must be walled out of the country, and who has since pledged to deport up to 3 million immigrants within his first days as president.

“I just can’t believe it,” poet and essayist Tedi López Mills said at the festival’s opening dinner. Mexican novelist Álvaro Uribe invited me to sit beside him, “unless you voted for Trump. Then you have to sit by yourself.” Such jokes quickly gave way to generalized despair at the uncertainty of what a Trump presidency would mean for the Mexican economy as well as for more personal matters, like visas to visit the United States.

Related: Big Pink: Mexican architects imagine Trump's wall as Luis Barragán homage

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