Oaxaca, Mexico:  Independence Day parade

15th September
I listened on the radio as the rain poured. As the crowd was finishing calling ‘Viva Mexico’ soon after 11pm the fireworks started. Not as intrusive a km away as those shot off nearby. A muted sound that continued for a little while as the many explosives blew up. 

16th September

The day after the 15th is the time for a parade and for many, a holiday. School was on as normal and during my 11am break for coffee (and a brain rest), I saw some of the parade, just up the street.

The surprise was the sheer number of different types of military and support services. Remember, while Oaxaca is a capital city for the state it’s not as significant as many other cities. So the parade is apparently comparatively small. No tanks, for example.

So, to start the day I saw a whole lot of students from a military uniform as I headed to school at about 8.30am. Maybe they led the parade as I didn’t see them again until after 3pm. They wore a very traditional type of uniform.

   
And yes, women certainly have roles, despite the very tight skirts!

 
Frankly, the thought of letting a whole lot of young MPs with this type of batons loose in the streets is challenging. Very formidable batons or staves, whatever name is used. Cute kids.

   
A man I was walking beside was waiting for the much younger kids as his 11 year old was one of those carrying small shovels, a type of pioneer corp.

 
The motto on the kids’ shirts says it all: our maxim is you must give the supreme sacrifice for the country.  Or something like that!

  
Come my 11am break and the parade was well underway when I arrived.  The crowd was very interested in it. The groups marching included regular army.

   
    
Some wore camouflage. 

 
Where would we be without military police.

   
Or the visible might of the government on display.

    
 
Music is seemingly very important in the military here.

  
The yellow hats, well, I’m not sure. But, they represented yet another group.

   
The medical corps was an easy guess and they interacted, waving at the kids, big and small.

 
Thought for a moment the British queen had joined us as a disembodied arm waved from inside an ambulance. But no! 

  
And fly bys. Well, we had already had a few in the preceding days. The parade afforded them another excuse to go around the city a few more times. 

   
Not everyone watched the parade all the time!

 
And those in the nearby zocalo after were clearly enjoying the outing. Yes, no sign of protesters here. They’d been moved on in the preceding days.

   
 
The balloons sell here. Big and small kids have them and small plastic kites.

  

For these few days the importance of the military might the government controls was very evident. From all the extra police I mentioned earlier to the multiple flybys. 

The firepower individual police carry is scary. People suggest it’s intended to scare, to show the might of the government. And I see every reason to believe it!  Viva Mexico! For another year.
  

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