Last night at 11 PM local time we in Mexico enjoyed the GRITO celebration of Mexican Independence. The Grito de Dolores (“Cry of Dolores”), was the pronunciamiento (pronouncement) made from the small town of Dolores, near Guanajuato, on September 16, 1810. It marked the beginning of the Mexican War of Independence. Miguel Hidalgo a Roman Catholic priest made the call. Since October 1825, the anniversary of the event is celebrated as Mexican Independence Day.
The Siege of Guanajuato, the first major engagement of the insurgency, occurred 4 days later. Mexico’s independence would not be officially declared from Spain in the Declaration of Independence of the Mexican Empire until September 28, 1821, after a decade of war.
It can be likened to the United States July 4th celebration. Leave it to the Mexicans to celebrate the beginning of a war rather than the victory ten years later.
Headed up by Mexico’s First Family, we watched the pomp and circumstance in all its regalia on television in our little casita in Xico, Veracruz.
The First Family is combined families consisting of our Mexican President, his famous novella actress wife and his (3) and hers (3) children. As governor in 2008 the widower Peña Nieto hired major Mexican television network soap opera actress Angélica Rivera to publicize his government work. Pope Benedict XVI gave the couple his blessing and Peña Nieto and Rivera eventually married in November 2011.
Last night the Family was center stage, arguably the loveliest first family ever. I mean they are an amazingly handsome couple with gorgeous children.
The President is a former Governor of Mexico City. Small in stature yet a very colorful guy. While running for the presidency he was criticized as being out of touch when he was quoted as not knowing how much tortillas cost. Peña Nieto insisted that he was not “the woman of the household” and thus would not know the price. In another interview, he admitted to have cheated on his past wife with another woman and fathered two children out of wedlock. Yikes with that stuff out he surely would have had a tough time getting elected in Amerika. But these are barely noticeable little sins here in Mexico.
Peña Nieto can be characterized politically as a tax and spend liberal having doubled the tax base in six years while governor but making some vast inroads in health care and alleged major crime reduction. As expats we do not get involved in political issues here in Mexico as demanded of us by the Mexican Constitution – so as to any of the aforementioned we have no opinion.
I will say generally that the yanking of the liberty bell and the passing of the flag from a military color guard of five or so to the President which was subsequently waved over the crowd (the zocalo looked to be filled to capacity) was pretty corny to my eyes. But the fireworks were great to watch from this distance, the ensuing smoke that fell on the entire area was happily avoided by watching in our warm little casita in Xico. We were treated to a simulcast of actual bombs bursting in air here locally and the visual treat of the fireworks in high definition free air television coming from Mexico City (rain free for a change).
That out of our systems this morning it is pouring rain. Life returns to normal.