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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