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Thursday, January 26, 2023

The Mayan Train tunnel, and other fake news on El Dia de los Santos Inocentes

News reporters give and receive pranks on an annual day of mischief

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Lee Steele
Lee Steele
Lee Steele is the founding director of Roof Cat Media and has published Yucatán Magazine and other titles since 2012. Sign up for our weekly newsletters, so our best stories will appear in your inbox every Monday.
Dia de los Santos Inocentes is just like April Fool’s Day, but your local news site is more likely to take part in it.

For El Dia de los Santos Inocentes, people are playing pranks on each other. That includes newspaper editors, who are playing pranks on readers, who are teased as “inocentes palomitas,” or innocent little doves.

Here is some deliberately fake news that came out today:

  • La Jornada: Lopez Obrador plans to turn the cenote zone pig farm into a Mayan Train stop, and dig an underwater tunnel so the rail line can reach Isla Holbox.
  • Novedades Yucatan: To lure spring breakers from Cancun, 24-hour alcohol sales begin in Yucatan Jan. 1, as well as mandatory “dirty Raggaeton” music in night clubs, starting every morning at 11. Farruko, Nicky Jam and Bad Bunny must be on playlists. Violators will be forced to drink two vodka shots.
  • La Silla Rota: Cabinet members barricaded themselves in the National Palace prior to the beginning of the 28th conference of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, to demand that they be allowed to sleep a little longer.
  • El Grillo: Gas prices fall to 12 or 13 pesos per liter by order of the president.
  • El Universal: “Game of Thrones” will be filmed in Chapultepec, which apparently excited a lot of fans for a short period.

And reporters were pranked by the president, too. At this morning’s briefing, he announced good news and bad news. The bad news is that he would cut back press conferences to just once a week. The good news is … he’s only kidding.

Last year, some fake news reports included: President Peña Nieto will retire to Yucatán, settling at the protected reef, Arrecife Alacranes, and build himself a mansion, a golf course and heliport. Also, Disney bought Chichen Itza, and the dome of Merida’s Cathedral collapsed.

Dia de Los Inocentes dates back some 2,000 years as a religious holiday to honor male infants who were ordered slaughtered by King Herod around the time of Jesus’ birth.

During the Middle Ages, pagan rites were introduced into the celebration. The time came to be known as the “El Dia de Los Locos” (“Celebration of the Crazy People”) which took place between Christmas and New Year.

At that time a new tradition began that combined pagan and Christian teachings, by way of some light-hearted monks, with the thrust of pulling all types of pranks on unsuspecting family and friends, not to mention readers.

Although it remains on the Catholic Liturgical calendar, Dia de los Santos Inocentes is mainly Latin America’s and Spain’s version of April Fool’s Day.

One tip for today: Don’t lend money to friends. They may actually refuse to pay it back because, you know, it’s Dia de los Santos Inocentes.

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