Mexico City’s military and police are out in force in preparation for this weekend’s Independence Celebrations
Stalls and celebrations in Mexico City’s Zocalo. The country is preparing to celebrate its Independence Day. This will be the first Independence Day to be presided over by the country’s current president Felipe Calderon, who took office in December last year following controversial elections.
Metal barriers and fences sprung up in the Zocalo almost overnight, according to bystanders. The military presence in the square is apparently much heavier than past years.
The date on which independence from Spain was declared by Miguel Hidalgo in Mexico overlooks the armed troops standing between the square and the Palacio Nacional
This banner was erected by supporters of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, Calderon’s left-wing rival in the controversial elections of last year. Calderon won the election by less than one percentage point, and opposition supporters still maintain that fraud plagued the election and that Obredor is Mexico’s legitimate president. According to the BBC, Mr Obrador, a populist former mayor of Mexico City, challenged the poll outcome in the courts and led a campaign of street protests. He refused to recognise Mr Calderon’s win.
Police guard the entrance to the Zocalo’s Palacio Nacional. Bystanders said that the heightened security of this year’s Independence Day celebration signals the Government’s fear that opposition supporters of Obredor could cause disruption over the weekend’s celebrations.
NewCorrespondent.com walked the perimeter of Mexico City’s Zocalo, which is lined with military officers and police already standing guard, more than 48 hours before the celebrations are officially due to begin.
Metal barricades separate the people from the buildings that house the official powers in the country.
The guardsmen were clearly unhappy about NewCorrespondent’s photographer.
A politician emerges from behind the metal barricades guarding the buildings that house the official powers in the country.