New protest graffiti springs up on the old stone posts that line the Paseo de la Reforma (Promenade of Reform) in Mexico City.
Mexico, lindo y que herido / Mexico, beautiful and how wounded.No te protegen, te vigilan / They don’t protect you, they watch over you. Refers to the street cameras that are supposed to be there to ‘protect’ the people. #renunciaYA, 15 de septiembre / hashtag: resign now, 15 of September. A protest organized for the Día de la Independencia de México (Mexican Independence Day) on September 15, 2016 to demand the resignation of the ruling party EPN. This was inspired by an earlier protest that same year in Guatemala (also labelled #renunciaYA) that demanded and ousted the corrupt president Otto Molina. At the bottom is written Ayotzi + 43. This refers to the mass disappearance/kidnapping/massacre of 43 students from the Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers College in 2014. The students, between 18 and 25, were part of the dream of the Mexican Revolution to provide education to all the people of Mexico including the rural poor, the ‘campesinos’. I can’t make out the top but I think it is possibly No te olvidas ellos (caras?) / Do not forget their (faces?). During many of the protests people carried banners, wore masks, draped classroom desks, with portraits of the missing students on them. This case has never been resolved satisfactorily.En todo Mexico seguimos siendo Ayotzinapa / In all Mexico we continue to feel Ayotzinapa. The ’43’ missing students are incorporated into the M and E of MEXICO.As part of the #MeToo movement started in 2018 this reads: Unidas somos poderosas / United (we woman) are powerful.Mi vida tiene valour, mi cuerpo no tiene precio / My life has value, my body does not have a price.Peligro, policía / Danger, police. There are many more that refer to events and people that I don’t understand. Spray-painted on top in red is ‘Señor Matanza’ / Mister Assassin.A determined woman leading a charge, possibly holding a microphone. A symbol of a flower with an A in the centre.
If these stones could talk…
The Paseo de la Reforma was commissioned in the 1860s by the new ‘Emperor’ Maximilian, ‘crowned’ by the French after their defeat of the Benito Juarez government of Mexico. Maximilian envisioned it to be the Champs-Élysées of Mexico City. The stone posts that line the broad avenue date from this era but contain stories of modern-day pain and tragedy.