Throughout its history, Mexico City, the country’s capital and the nation’s political, cultural, and financial center, has witnessed not a few massive popular civic demonstrations. Excluding those of a religious nature, in general terms there have been two types.
In both cases they have been to express support for a certain cause or support for a certain character, or for both purposes at the same time. The difference between one and another type of manifestations has consisted in that while some have been characterized by having been induced, artificial, with some dose of simulation, the others, in marked contrast, are basically genuine and spontaneous.
To put it quickly, it can be said that some have organized themselves using the humiliating portering of people, obviously paid for, and the others have dispensed with this infamous practice. As simple as that.
The first great authentically popular demonstration was the one that took place on September 27, 1821, on the occasion of the entry into Mexico City of Agustin de Iturbide at the head of the Trigarante Army. The chronicles of the time report that it was an overflowing popular, spontaneous and enthusiastic demonstration, through which the people expressed their support for the achievement of national independence.
Another similar demonstration was the one registered on June 7, 1911, when at three in the afternoon of that day Francisco I Madero He entered Mexico City triumphantly amid overflowing and authentic popular support, because the people believed that it meant the collapse of the Porfiriato and the victory of the Revolution. By the way, and to be more specific, in the early morning of that day, which was Wednesday, at around half past four in the morning, the city “was shaken by a terrible tremor.” Eleven hours after the earthquake, the people received Madero excited.
It is probable that over the course of more than two centuries there have been other great genuinely popular demonstrations.
The historian Luis Gonzalez points out that after the flight of the President of the Republic Sebastian Lerdo de Tejadawhich marked the triumph of the Tuxtepec Plan, on the afternoon of November 23, 1876 Porfirio Diaz “He entered the capital of the republic that received him with the jubilation customary for the victors” (General History of Mexico, Colmex, p. 654).
In other words, the constant rebellions, riots, riots and so on, in which the first half century of the country’s independent life was so lavish, came to establish the stiff custom of receiving the victors in the city “with joy”.
What is the above? Because President López Obrador ordered that a large concentration be held yesterday, Saturday, March 18, on the occasion of the anniversary of the Oil Expropriation, but with the true purpose of demonstrating greater strength than the one exhibited on February 26 by the hundreds of thousands of citizens who freely congregate in the Zócalo and in more than ninety cities in the country, to demand respect from the INE.
Just like what happened on November 27, 2022, when López Obrador tried to overcome the massive citizen march on Sunday, November 13, the ruling party once again resorted, according to complaints made public, to pressure, threats, the unworthy carrying of citizens and the humiliating gift. All of which on that occasion was denounced by numerous and courageous testimonies released through audio, video, statements and documents.
When did the portering of people begin in Mexico? We do not know for sure, but it is worth consigning as perhaps the most remote antecedent the one that Fernando del Paso mentioned in his historical novel “News of the Empire”.
Del Paso writes that during the French intervention, after the fall of Puebla, the French general Elijah Forey He made his triumphal entry to the capital, having been given the keys to the city in the San Lázaro sentry box and was “received by triumphal arches and a shower of flowers so thick that some horses reared up, frightened…”.
And he adds: “The reception cost the French troops themselves more than ninety thousand francs, most of it, apparently, in the hauling of peasants; Captain Loizillon, in a letter addressed to his godmother, told him that (Juan N.) Almonte had rented the peasants, at a rate of three cents per head, plus a glass of pulque” (today it is called frutsi), to simulate with brought popular support to the French invader.
As you can see, more than a century and a half has passed and at this point of the shameful hauling, things remain the same. The only difference that is observed is the one that exists between pulque and frutsi.
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