Mexico Celebrates Independence Day amid Fear of Violence

Mexico Celebrates Independence Day amid Fear of Violence

Mexico Celebrates Independence Day amid Fear of Violence

Wednesday marked the 200th anniversary celebration of Mexico’s independence and the thing citizens wished for most was a day free of violence.  As the drug wars continue to ravage the country, government officials and citizens across Mexico hoped that the many celebrations and parades would occur without any of the bloodshed that has continued for the better part of two years as the Mexican government has battled with the local drug cartels.

As the day progressed there seemed to be little to worry about.  The only major incident occurred outside of Cancun where six men were detained Wednesday after it was discovered they had assault rifles and hand grenades.  Prosecutors in the area are still investigating the situation as it was unclear if the men were planning an attack.

The absence of major violence was a welcome relief to many citizens as they celebrate the bicentennial of Mexican independence.  Even though there appears to have been no major atrocities, the fear of attacks was enough for many residents to watch the parades and celebrations on television or over the internet.  There was a time when that would not have been the case.  Before 2008, even the drug cartels had called a cease-fire on this day of celebration, however 2008 bore witness to a grenade attack during Independence Day celebrations that killed eight people, including a 14-year-old boy.

Many of the residents choosing to stay at home for the festivities stated they live in fear every day of unprovoked attacks from the drug cartels and Wednesday was no different.  The attacks have been ongoing for several years now and in recent years have become increasingly violent.  In the past year alone cartels have been blamed for the assassination of a candidate for governor, the vicious killing of 19 people at a drug rehabilitation center, and the execution of 72 migrants who refused to smuggle drugs for the cartel.

While many Independence Day revelers were fearful, it appears that for at least one day Mexico got its wish.


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