Mexico church assailed for maligning miniskirt

Last week’s condemnation of the mini-skirt by the Mexican Catholic Church has enraged some Mexican women, who say that church’s statement that women should wear less provocative clothing makes it easier to justify rape and other forms of violence against them.

Last week’s statement, which advised women not to get into “spicy”conversations with men if they wanted to avoid rape and violence, saying:

“If you want to avoid sexual aggression….do not use provocative clothing…watch your glances…don’t be alone with a man, even if you know him…Don’t permit spicy chats or jokes… look for help  when you suspect bad intentions….”

Women protested in front of the cathedral in Mexico City’s Zocalo over the weekend – wearing miniskirts of course – and the statement has been lambasted by newspaper columnists and women’s rights activists.

“Guadalupe Loaeza, a renowned Mexican social commentator, said she worries the priest’s statements will be taken seriously and make it acceptable to blame the victim.

“”It gives rapists permission to say, ‘Well, she had on a miniskirt,'” Loaeza said. “What the church says has credibility – that’s why this type of statement is so dangerous.”” Associated Press.

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Video: Raising of the flag

Following last week’s filming session in the Zócalo, where I was denied the chance to film closeup to the military whilst they were raising the ntaional flag, I managed to edit the move into a decent summary of the ritual.

This film was made for La Plaza, and you can see it here on this post.

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Filming the raising of the flag in Mexico City

Every morning in Mexico City’s Zocalo, the country’s military raise the national flag in a ceremony enjoyed by tourists and Mexicans alike. Many of the Mexican bystanders on their way to work stop and salute as the flag goes up.  Sometimes it goes up at 6, sometimes at eight, and it usually comes down around 6 at night – timing tends to depend on the season and the weather. Continue reading

Mexican public give their view on oil reform

"I decide".

A bitter debate on how to rescue Mexico’s troubled state-owned oil company went directly to the people on Sunday as capital residents voted on President Felipe Calderon’s plan to open some portions of Mexico’s nationalized petroleum industry to outsiders.

This video went with this Los Angeles Times report.

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Mexicans On Ice

The Zocalo's ice-rink from on highAnother commission from the Los Angeles Times, this time their first video blog news item on the ice rink in the Zocalo, Mexico.

Click here to watch the movie.

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:
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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.