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Saturday, April 20, 2019

On the Zócalo

I frequently mention the Zócalo, the main plaza of Mexico City and the historic and political heart of the nation.  I also have mentioned it appears to be the policy of the new city government not to clutter up the plaza with tacky fairs and exhibitions.  The view of the historic buildings surrounding this vast square, one of the largest in the world, is now unobstructed.



Well… almost...

The President's embrace of the underdogs of Mexican society has encouraged protestors  from impoverished states such as Chiapas and Oaxaca to set up banners and tents right in front of the National Palace.





Striking employees from one the city's universities were protesting in front of city hall.




In one corner of the Zócalo there is a temporary structure that resembles the old-fashioned bandstands that grace the central plazas of many Mexican towns.  



I don't know if they are intending to use this structure for band concerts.  I wouldn't mind if they built a permanent and prettier bandstand... the kind with decorative wrought iron embellishments like the ones from the 19th century.

One feature of the Zócalo under the new government are photographic exhibits along the perimeter of the square.  I have written about a couple of them here.  This month is the 100th anniversary of the assassination of the revolutionary hero, Emiliano Zapata, so there is currently a display of historic photos of his life and times.




One of the most famous photographs of the Mexican Revolution is included.  When the armies of Zapata and Pancho Villa entered Mexico City the two leaders went into the National Palace.  Pancho Villa brazenly sat in the Presidential Chair.  Zapata, an idealist who had no desire for personal power, later told Villa that the chair should be burned to put an end to ambition.



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