The 1972 Mexican law on the preservation of the national patrimony appeared to have totally removed local interests from that endeavor. But, public actions affecting historic centers are the result of the interaction of local and federal concerns. This article examines the variety of ways local actors legitimate and support their activities within the context of federal regulations. The nature of public intervention regarding historic urban centers and the level of protection of the nation's historical patrimony are the result of a plurality of interests and laws rather than the simple application of federal legislation.

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