An Historic Day

AMLO’s celebration at the Zocalo on December 1, 2018

At the packed megastore, the day after Andrés Manuel Lopéz Obrador’s investiture as Mexico’s 68th President (65th if you don’t count the repeaters), I ran into several friends. With each of them I mentioned the TV coverage of yesterday’s historic event.

Some were optimistic like me, some were divided in their opinion, and I  told one of them I was excited to blog about this amazing occurrence. She is of the opinion that most people who read my blog are not very interested about what happens politically or socially in Mexico.

That took me aback, but she had still more to say: “And if your readers follow politics at all, they are mostly concerned about what is happening in the USA – there is much to be concerned about there.”

“But most of my readers of my blog live in Mexico – those who do not – would like to.”

“I need to be off,” she said as she patted my hand and headed for the vegetables & fruit aisle. I was left feeling a bit confused.

I do write sometimes about the political issues in Mexico because a lot of important changes are taking place.  This blog is all about change, and I think there are quite a few readers who like to read about Mexico’s socio-political transformation.

I am not an activist but I am a concerned citizen. I am excited to see that now Mexico has a fighting chance to get out of the mire it has sunk into – ever deeper and deeper – over the past 40 years. Our new President has vowed to tackle corruption and impunity head on. And that is music to my ears. So many of our resources have been squandered and sold off. So much of our tax money never reaches its proper recipients because it is unscrupulously diverted along the way. And when the culprits are discovered with their hands in the honey jar, they don’t get prosecuted because of the impunity laws. That has changed though – now corruption is considered to be a serious crime – isn’t it unbelievable to realise it was not before?

AMLO is promising to put the poor first. About time someone does. After the official ceremony at the legislative assembly,  and a lunch with dignitaries at “Palacio Nacional”, the President went to Mexico City’s Main Plaza to celebrate with his constituents. Every inch of space was occupied. There AMLO participated in an indigenous ceremony that would prepare and cleanse him for the many challenges he will face. He was given the “Baston de Mando”, a Sceptre of Authority, and he accepted it with humility. “I will not let you down,” he told the crowd.  At one point the shaman knelt before the new President to pay him homage.  Andrés Manuel also fell to his knees, paying the same honour to the other man. “The people are the sovereign ones,” he says.

Many public works have been announced and much breaking of tradition. The conventional parties are going nuts and I can see they will not be timid in their criticism. Our president needs us to be strong, and to help him make the country sound, safe and vital once again. There’s no point getting into shouting matches with his opponents – that will do no good – rather our actions must speak for themselves. What does that mean?

Well, if we are asked for a bribe to speed up the government process we are working on, or we are given substandard treatment at a government medical facility, or if problems in our city are not being dealt with by local authorities – we should refuse to accept shoddy service – and we should report the incident to the superior. The same goes for shake downs by police. We no longer need to fear reprisals, so let’s not allow the old ways to continue. Better public service is in the public’s hands.

I am not a combative person, but now that I can see policy changes coming, I will demand fair and equal treatment. And not every day, or every week – but whenever something needs to be reported – I will continue to blog about our country’s peaceful revolution – whether anyone reads or not.

 

 

Published by Changes in our Lives

I am originally from Canada but have lived in Mexico since 1976. My husband is from Merida, Yucatan and we raised our family here. We both worked for many years at Tecnologia Turistica Total (TTT), the tourism, language and multimedia college we founded for local and international students. Now retired, we enjoy spending time with family and friends, My other interests include spending time with freinds, reading, painting, cooking and travel.

18 thoughts on “An Historic Day

  1. As with you my interest is in the Mexican news which I try to follow while in Canada. I can get my Canadian updates easily while in Merida. I am sick of the American political histrionics although I hope they have a leadership change soon as well and end the farce which has ruined the American relationship with Canada, Mexico and most other countries.
    Mexico needs real political change. It is a time for optimism. Time will tell.

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    1. Thank you for your comment. Indeed we need to get back on track… the antagonism towards Canada and Mexio is hurting the USA. Their concerns as a country should weigh in alongside their neighbours. It is terribly conceited to think their needs are more important than ours… Sorry, that is old-fogey, backward thinking.

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  2. I am always very interested in what happens socially, politically, and economically in Mexico. and I think a lot of Canadians are. There is not much we can do about the scene directly to the south of us, except struggle to survive, so it has nearly ceased to be a topic of conversation. On the other hand, the new regime in Mexico offers hope and prosperity. Besides, we need those healthy fruits and vegetables from a purely selfish point-of-view.

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    1. Thank you Aunt Alice. In Mexico and Canada, we are challenged greatly by the country in the middle, but what the Americans need to keep in mind is that flapping around on their own will hurt them more than we will be hurt to lose their “support”. Both our coutries have natural resources and coastline in spades… Canada’s water and Mexico’s labour force are of great importance, as are both Mexican and Canadian consumers. Really no country can afford to be isolationist. We need one another, so we’d better learn to get along.

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  3. That woman in the megastore had some very strange ideas. Why would anyone who is not interested in Mexico read your blog? And what regular reader wouldn’t have some idea of your interest in the political scene and your not-right wing orientation? Anyway, like you I am excited about the next six years, and will continue to read your posts with great interest, in particular those that broach how things may begin slowly to change (or, I suppose, not).

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    1. Thank you James. I believe the situation will change in Mexico once the people feel some confidence in the new government. I think we need to get behind the government’s iniciatives – yes they are bold – but the country needs to be bold. We need to be “people of faith”.

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  4. I appreciate your writings about what is happening in Mexico. As a Canadian, who only spends part of the year in Mexico, I like the different perspective you share about the changes that are happening. It is refreshing to have a side not presented by the media. Thank you.

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    1. Thank you so much. My views are not so often in sync with the media, either left or right. I am a pragmatic thinker and justice is highly important to me. Like AMLO, I think it will be counterproductive to spend a lot of energy, time, and money trying to prosecute those who have wreaked havovk here (although they certainly deserve it) We need to move on and get Mexico back on its feet.

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  5. Only saw glimpses, and I mean seconds, of the ceremony/things from the big day, but it looked FASCINATING. Thank you very much for the perspective from the street, so to speak!! WE must be the change we seek, and change is so so so liberating! Scary, and exhilarating! I’m tired of the cynics who keep telling me that it’s all gonna be more of the same. I know I’d be jaded too after 40 years, I get it, and I know personally projecting on our leaders as if they are saviors, or looking with blind hope/through rose colored glasses only disappoints, and isn’t realistic, but if a person EARNS your respect (give them a chance), and if we walk the talk and earn our own self respect, real change for the better happens, and all boats float higher. It’s universal truth. Thank you as always for sharing how you see things. Very motivating!

    P.S. Saw a youtube channel episode—traveler’s experience from their recent visit to Veracruz city— that sadly illustrates much of what you explain in your post. 😦 On the bright side, watching it is still a fun quick visit to one of our cool sister gulf states/cities. 🙂

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    1. Harold, I really hope I meet you one day soon. Your opinions are astute and I like your positive attitude. We ARE the change we seek. I am also so tired of negativity spilling off every soapbox. If we do not give the new Mexican government a chance, how can we expect them to help us… Onward and upward!

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      1. You have no idea how good it is to read of your support while I go through some changes right now…some bungee jumping stuff off of tall buildings (metaphorically speaking) and I’m sorta scared of heights, but each time I brave the change, I’m immediately living life much more fully, and can’t believe I ever thought of chickening out! Grateful to you as always. See you soon in the new year!

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      2. Bloggers … At a writers’ conference I was asked why we lay our heartfelt opinions “right out in front of God and everyone else”. Do we think we “know everythig” and that its right to use a public forum to influence people?

        I remember feeling a little taken aback because I do not think I “know everything”… and we all have much to learn. However I do have the advantage of having lived in Mexico for many years.

        I read and hear (what I feel are…) great misconceptions and generalizations about Mexico and its people, and I feel a responsibility to present a more balanced opinion. The same goes for women’s issues, ageism and (my favourite) fear of change.

        It is so gratifying when readers like you obviously think about what I write. Good luck with your bungee jumping… (I have faith that this too shall pass)… And please let the Merida blogging community know when you are coming here, we’ll be so happy to meet you.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Fascinating comment from the conference participant. If we play small, who could that possibly serve? Not us, not others. When we shine brightly, we of course run up against “who do you think you are?” I’m not sure why that always has to happen, but it does. But thankfully, souls like you know that playing small serves absolutely no purpose in the universe. (I think the Buddhists call it false humility, and it is even considered bad karma.)

        Can you imagine how many lives would be different/worse off if they hadn’t read your 3 (4, really) books?

        I just love the issues you tackle, especially change-aphobia. It terrifies us so much that some statistics say that around 90% of us never move more than 10 miles away from where we were raised! (“Not that there’s anything wrong with it.” —Seinfeld 🙂 Everyone is on their own unique journey.)

        One of my dogs passed very recently. Leaves a hole in your heart. For awhile. They teach us so much in their short lifespans. I remember once you blogged that time is short. Make choices. And do whatever it is NOW.

        Must share this with you, a blogger, from another blogger from Mexico City, and I would have missed it without him also shining brightly, but because sometimes music lovers (like us) benefit from a new motivating anthem popping around in our heads during times of change the way an old Bowie song might have just a few years ago, think you might dig it. You may already know it. (Highly recommend lyrics be read, many are not clear in the listening.) Cheers! 🙂

        https://genius.com/The-killers-flesh-and-bone-lyrics

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      4. Hi Harold… just this morning had a chance to listen to the track you sent… the lyrics are interesting, aren’t they? If we don’t stay in the moment… time just slips by without us. Right now I am hanging onto “the moments” by my toenails it seems. Next Saturday my daughter and her husband are having a big party to celebrate their wedding, and there is still so much to do. Today we will be baking everything for the sweets table., and as always,, music will spur us on. Maggie made a special playlist… I look forward to hearing it. Happy Holidays Harold… we hope to see you soon in Merida.

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      5. Joanna, hope you are gloriously busy, and enjoying every single moment of it. Just read this fascinating article, and then the NYtimes picked comments, and then the reader’s comments as well, all also fascinating, and thought you would want to be made aware of it. (BTW, thanks for the well wishes and encouragement, because it looks like I may just be a month-ish away from “home” there now. Best regards.)

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      6. Yes Harold, I have seen the NY Times articles and yes, the traditional media are ready to pounce on him for even the most trivial ommision, but so far… Glory Be! My faith in AMLO remains strong and I pray for his health and well-being. Merry Christmas to you, Harold and may this new year be full of wonderful, positive changes for us all.

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  6. Please continue to write about sociopolitical happenings in Mexico. I was born and raised in the US, have lived most of my adult life in Canada, but a large chunk of my heart is rooted in Mexico. If I love a country and her people, why would I not be interested in what is happening socially and politically? I also very much appreciate that your perspective is not just from an outsider looking in, but from someone who is binational and as much as is possible for someone who didn’t grow up in Mexico, also bicultural. While I enjoy reading many blogs about Mexico, too often there is a whiff (and once in a while a stench) of cultural chauvinism inherent in the writing. I have never found that in your writing. Please don’t stop, and know that you have fans out here, even if we don’t often tell you so. Mil gracias y échale ganas.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Interesting comment, thank you. I agree it is important to understand the sociopolitical issues a country faces because otherwise you can not understand why the people behave as they do. In Mexico, the public has been so seriously let down for so long – who can blame them for a lack of civic participation. As their confidence in the new government grows, I think we will witness a (sort-of) cultural revolution. There’s a new awareness of Mexico’s potential… I believe la raza is awakening.

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