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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Mexican Independence Day Arrival

Mexican Independence Day is Sept. 16. On Mexican Independence Day 2010, Mexico celebrates 200 years of independence. A common misconception in the U.S. is that Mexican Independence Day is May 5: Cinco de Mayo. On May 5, stories in the media abound, ranging from tequila recipes to the Battle of Puebla -  the real reason Cinco de Mayo is celebrated. Sept. 16 is Mexican Independence Day because Mexico’s 10-year war for independence from Spain began on Sept. 16, 1810. Mexico has come a long way in 200 years. 

Yet in 2010, the country has little to celebrate as it battles corruption, human rights issues and drug violence.
President Felipe Calderon is celebrating Mexican Independence Day Sept. 16 with a $40 million extravaganza in Mexico City. USA Today  reports that the two-day bicentennial bash features laser shows, fireworks and music. 

The Mexican government hopes the party will lift the people’s spirits despite a recession and bloody war against narcoterrorists. Security is tight amid fears that drug cartels will attack the festivities. Two years ago, narcoterrorists threw grenades into the crowd during a Mexican Independence Day festival in the city of Morelia. Seven people were killed and 132 were wounded. Since a military campaign on Mexican drug cartels began in December 2006, more than 22,000 people have died in drug violence, according to the Reforma  newspaper.

Mexican culture and cuisine were on full display over the weekend on Cherokee Street. The Cherokee Street Latino Business Owners Association on Saturday and Sunday sponsored a two-day street celebration to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Mexican independence. The event featured dozens of vendors offering traditional Mexican food and drink, along with live music and other entertainment. 


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