Mexico City’s Independence Celebrations Pass Peacefully

Mexico celebrated the anniversary of its independence this weekend. It was the first time that Felipe Calderon, the country’s current president, oversaw the celebrations since he took office in December last year following controversial elections.

Observers said that the military presence surrounding the annual event was much higher than past years, and the volume of the music being played by the enormous speakers around the square was painful to the ears.
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Despite this, the occasion passed peacefully.

Supporters of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador were out in force in the Zocalo during the day, and staged a rally opposite the Palacio Nacional in the evening. At 10pm, Obrador’s supporters voted to leave the Zocalo and not attend Calderon’s traditional ‘El Grito’ at 11pm in protest at what they insist were fraudulent elections last year.

Mexico City's Zocalo, September 15th 2007

But by 11pm the Zocalo was full again. Thousands turned up to hear Calderon pay tribute to the country’s heroes and cry ‘Viva Mexico!’ three times. ‘El Grito’ was followed by an impressive firework display that enthralled the crowd for 20 minutes, after which they peacefully dispersed.

The following Sunday, Mexico’s military marched through the city’s main avenues in all its splendor, watched on and applauded by the city’s inhabitants.

Mexico City's Military March, Independence Day 2007

Watch extracts of the military march here:
[blip.tv ?posts_id=427849&dest=-1]

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