This piece is from Sept. 2010, Mexico’s Bicentennial. Originally published in the late Cafe Magazine. An oldie worth revisiting…
Mexico: 200 Sinverguenza Years and Counting
Mexico celebrates its bicentennial this September (2010). For nations, as birthdays go, this is the quinceanera of celebrations. It’s when a country blooms into womanhood, wears a big puffy dress, and declares to the world “Here I stand, world, court me and whatnot.”
Of course, you only turn 200 once, and it’s important to make it count. However, Mexico has a history of bad birthdays, and now she’s worried about this important milestone further cementing that tradition. Poor thing. Should she worry? See for yourself.
Mexico’s Quick and Dirty Sinverguenza Highlight Reel:
Mexico’s birthday: What the frock?
Some bold clergyman in some town (unbelievably, the town’s name is literally translated to “Pains”) lets out a shout to revolution, eventually leading to Mexico’s independence from Spainish rule A violent, painful birth follows. Grito de Dolores?… A huevo… and… a-ppropriately named. Mexico kicks and screams her way into the world.
The first hundred: Buenos Diaz, Mexico
After a presidency that spanned 30 controversial, corruption-laden years, 80 year old dictator Porfirio Diaz runs into a bit of opposition in the form of Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata (and other disgruntled mustaches with guns). A bloody decade follows. Yet again, violence scars young Mexico.
Déjà vu…Otra Vez…Again
With ski masks and no signs of snow, The Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) continues the bloody birthday tradition on New Years Day 1994, when the mostly indigenous members take control of towns in Chiapas, Mexico in objection to injustices committed against the indigenous.