MEXICO CITY — Mexicans will celebrate their Independence Day without big, public ceremonies for the first time in 153 years Tuesday because of restrictions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has promised to perform the “grito” and “viva Mexico” but only in front of a select number of invited guests.
Traditionally, the president rings the bell that marked the call to arms during the 1810-1821 struggle to win independence from Spain. The event has not been cancelled since 1847, during the Mexican-American War, when U.S. troops occupied Mexico City.
López Obrador generally has no problem with crowds and dislikes wearing face masks. But with more than 671,000 cases and almost 71,000 deaths — the fourth highest in the world — the president apparently thought twice about packing the usual 100,000 rowdy revelers into Mexico City’s main square, known as the Zocalo.