Mexico City’s military out in force for this weekend’s Independence Celebrations

Zocolo, Mexico City, September 13th 2007

Stalls and celebrations in Mexico City’s Zocalo. The country is preparing to celebrate its Independence Day. This will be the first Independence Day to be presided over by the country’s current president Felipe Calderon, who took office in December last year following controversial elections.

Military is out in force

Metal barriers and fences sprung up in the Zocalo almost overnight, according to bystanders. The military presence in the square is apparently much heavier than past years.

Military is out in force

The date on which independence from Spain was declared by Miguel Hidalgo in Mexico overlooks the armed troops standing between the square and the Palacio Nacional

The resistance of the people of Mexico City continues

This banner was erected by supporters of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, Calderon’s left-wing rival in the controversial elections of last year. Calderon won the election by less than one percentage point, and opposition supporters still maintain that fraud plagued the election and that Obredor is Mexico’s legitimate president. According to the BBC, Mr Obrador, a populist former mayor of Mexico City, challenged the poll outcome in the courts and led a campaign of street protests. He refused to recognise Mr Calderon’s win.

Palacio National, Mexico City, September 13th 2007

Police guard the entrance to the Zocalo’s Palacio Nacional. Bystanders said that the heightened security of this year’s Independence Day celebration signals the Government’s fear that opposition supporters of Obredor could cause disruption over the weekend’s celebrations.

Military out in force, Mexico City, September 13th 2007

NewCorrespondent.com walked the perimeter of Mexico City’s Zocalo, which is lined with military officers and police already standing guard, more than 48 hours before the celebrations are officially due to begin.

Military out in force, Mexico City, September 13th 2007

Metal barricades separate the people from the buildings that house the official powers in the country.

Military out in force, Mexico City, September 13th 2007

The guardsmen were clearly unhappy about NewCorrespondent’s photographer.

Military out in force, Mexico City, September 13th 2007

A politician emerges from behind the metal barricades guarding the buildings that house the official powers in the country.

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