68 F
Mérida
Monday, January 24, 2022
###

A quiet ‘grito’ to mark Mexico’s independence

Latest headlines

Joya de Cerén — The Pompeii of the Americas

The volcano which stood less than one mile from Joya de Cerén, sent huge amounts of debris flying through the air. It ultimately buried the village under four to eight meters (13 to 26 feet) of ash and rock. 

A stunning 5,425 new COVID cases in a week

Residents make use of a hand-washing station installed in the Centro. Photo: Artur Widak / NurPhoto via Getty Images

Booster shots arrive for Mérida residents between 40-59

Booster shots for Mérida residents in their 40s and 50s arrived Friday. Photo: Courtesy A military plane with...

Mexico celebrates International Mariachi Day

Mariachis in Mexico and around the world celebrate International Mariachi Day observed every Jan 21. 
Yucatán Magazine
Sign up to get our top headlines delivered to your inbox twice a week.
President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador waves the national flag Tuesday after giving the annual independence shout from the balcony of the National Palace to kick off subdued Independence Day celebrations amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, at the Zocalo in Mexico City. Instead of the throngs of supporters who pack the Zocalo in a typical year, this year the president faced an empty plaza as he gave the traditional “Grito de Dolores.” Photo: AP / Rebecca Blackwell

Mexico celebrated Independence Day without big public ceremonies for the first time in 153 years Tuesday night due to restrictions on public gatherings caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Each year, the president rings the bell that marked the call to arms during the 1810-1821 struggle to win independence from Spain, and shouts “Viva Mexico!” This time, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador did it to a quiet Zocalo before a select number of invited guests.

That shout, or “grito,” gives the ceremony its name. Independence Day is formally Sept. 16, but has been celebrated the night before for over a century.

The event has not been cancelled since 1847, during the Mexican-American War, when U.S. troops occupied Mexico City.

López Obrador usually has no problem with crowds and dislikes wearing face masks, but with over 668,000 cases and almost 71,000 deaths — the fourth-highest number in the world — the president apparently thought twice about packing the usual 100,000 rowdy revelers into Mexico City’s main square, known as the Zocalo.

“It is ceremony that you can watch on television,” López Obrador said Tuesday. “We can all participate from our homes.”

The coronavirus pandemic will be mentioned during the ceremony this year, he said. “We will remember the dead and their families,” he said, adding, “We are going to light a torch in the Zocalo, a torch of hope.”

Security has been so tight in the main plaza — soldier were dispatched to provide security and prevent gatherings — that it sparked a warning by church authorities that troops had “taken over” the area around the Roman Catholic Metropolitain Cathedral, which sits on the northern edge of the plaza. The Archdiocese later clarified that it had been a misinterpretation, and that worshippers would be allowed access to the cathedral.

The pain hasn’t been felt only in Mexico City.

Merida’s Plaza Grande was quiet and citizens watched on television or social media as Yucatan’s governor broadcast the traditional “grito” from the balcony of the governor’s palace. No fireworks display followed cries of “Viva Mexico!” this year.

Enrique Alfaro, the governor of Jalisco — the state famed for tequila and mariachis — had to cancel a decades-old Sept. 14 parade of “charros,” or Mexican cowboys, and said Independence Day “will be without gatherings or mass events, to keep us safe from COVID-19.”

Alejandro Murat, the governor Oaxaca, said the most patriotic thing people could do Tuesday is to stay home and wear face masks. Murat wrote that “it is important to care for our health and everybody else’s, and that is an excellent way to demonstrate our love for Mexico.”

Michoacan Gov. Silvano Aureolles, who himself is recovering from COVID-19, wrote that “this year we will celebrate our country’s liberty in a different way, to care for your health, that of your family and everybody else’s.”

With information from The Associated Press

- Advertisement -

Subscribe Now!

More articles

What to do if you find baby sea turtles on the beach

Most people realize that it is not a good idea to disturb nesting or baby turtles, but what should we do if one appears to be in peril or distress?

New Frontier Airlines route to connect Cancún with Houston

Citing an increase in demand, Frontier Airlines has announced a new flight between Houston and Cancún.

Yucatán’s muralism boom —  an explosion of color, tradition and meaning

Yucatán’s history of muralism famously dates all the way back to the elaborate frescoes of the ancient Maya.

Students at Mérida’s private Catholic Universities caught trading thousands of explicit photos of their classmates

Numerous students at Mérida’s Anáuac Mayab University are reportedly active in a “secret” chat group to trade intimate photos of classmates, as well as engage in cyberbullying. 

New benches at ancient archaeological site anger Izamal residents

Modern slab benches detract from an ancient ruin at Izamal, neighbors say. Photo: Courtesy Modern-looking benches installed at...

Being a good neighbor to Yucatán’s roof cats and street dogs

Illustration: Juan Pablo Quintal García Cats replaced people as my friends soon after quarantine 2020 began. 

What my rescue dogs taught me

I thought I knew a lot about dogs until I took in two rescues. I was wrong....

Bus full of construction workers catches fire in Mérida’s north

A bus went up in flames just before 8 this morning in Mérida’s Francisco de Montejo neighborhood.

Mérida’s new surveillance center now has eyes on over 6,700 cameras

Yucatán's government has opened a new remote surveillance center to oversee the state's thousands of active security cameras. 

600 acres expropriated in Quintana Roo for new Mayan Train route

Mexico has seized 198 lots of land in Quintana Roo along phase 5 of the Mayan Train's path.