You say you want a revolution

Last Wednesday was el Día de la Revolución (the Day of the Revolution) in Mexico. Each year on Nov. 20, people in Mexico celebrate the anniversary of the 1910 start of the movement that lead to the overthrow of dictator José de la Cruz Porfirio Díaz Mori—Porfirio Díaz for short.

 

Diaz had been in power for more than 30 years and while Mexico had political stability and was growing in many areas under his rule, it wasn’t long before the political unrest began.

 

The unhappiest sectors in Mexico were the peasants and labor workers.

 

The Mexican Revolution ran from 1910 to 1920 and was called for by politician and reformist writer Francisco Ignacio Madero.

 

While Madero was in exile in Texas, he wrote a political document that was later published in the Mexican city of San Luis Potosí, which was later known as “The Plan of San Luis Potosí.” In the article, Madero called on the people of Mexico to rise up and begin a revolution on Nov. 20.

 

Emiliano Zapata, Pascual Orozco and Francisco “Pancho” Villa finally answered Madero’s calls for a revolution.

 

Zapata, a peasant leader from the southern state of Morelos, hoped a revolution would lead to land reform. In northern Mexico, Orozco, a muleteer, and bandit chieftain Pancho Villa—known by some as a “modern-day Robin Hood”—also took up arms against Díaz. The three rallied thousands of men to take down the dictator and thus the revolution began in 1910.

 

But that was just the beginning; the fighting among revolutionary groups didn’t end until 1920 when the revolution had at last triumphed.

 

I’ve always known Nov. 20 to be my mom’s birthday. When I was younger, she would tell me of the parades she witnessed as a child—in honor of the revolution anniversary, of course. Still, I thought it was cool that her birthday fell on such a day.

 

Outdoor events, festivals, parades and block parties are part of the Revolution Day celebrations. Shouts of “Viva la Revolución!” (Long live the Revoltion) and “Viva México!” (Long live Mexico) are heard.

 

But this year, the government in the Mexican state of Michoacán chose not to participate in common celebrations.

 

The Michoacán Government announced Tuesday, Nov. 19, that it would cancel the 103rd annual commemorative parade celebrating the anniversary of the Mexican Revolution, read a statement released in Spanish by the Federal District Government.

 

A state official said much of Michoacán’s police forces needed during the parade perform work fighting crime and surveillance within the State.

 

“The government of Michoacán has decided that the priority right now is to maintain the presence of these elements in the municipalities that need it and not distract them from their task in Morelia [capital of Michoacán],” said the official, who was not named.

 

This makes me wonder about the future of celebrations in Mexico.

 

Should Mexican residents feel safer because police forces are focusing on fighting crime or robbed of a 100-year-old celebration? Should other measures be taken into consideration for next year’s [pending] celebration?

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STORIFY: Chicago’s mayor visits Mexico City

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel made his first international trip Nov. 14 to Mexico City to establish a “sister cities” relationship with Mexico’s capitol.

Emanuel signed the Global Cities Economic Partnership with Mexico City Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera, an agreement that would support trade, exchange and learning. The deal would also seek to develop global trade and investment strategies for both cities.

Chicagoland is home to more than 1.5 million residents of Mexican descent, while Chicago has the second largest Mexican population of any city in the United States after Los Angeles.

“It is fitting that the greatest of Mexican cities and the most American of American cities are forming this partnership,” said Emanuel in a press release.

Emanuel also promoted Chicago’s plan to rebuild parks. Mexico City officials plan to travel to Chicago to see the scheme.

“We’re going to follow up on all the business leads we had, so we can get direct investment and job creation in the city of Chicago,” Emanuel told NBC Chicago.

During his trip, the mayor promoted Chicago tourism targeting Mexico’s growing middle class. Emanuel’s efforts in North America’s largest city showcased the importance of Mexico and its people to Chicago’s economic future.

Emanuel also visited the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, a National Shrine of Mexico and the second most visited Catholic sanctuary in the world after the Saint Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City.

Click here to view Storify for this post.