In Mexico's secular post-revolutionary state, public space is more likely to be occupied by a political than religious ritual event. The annual public parade to celebrate the nationalization of Mexico's oil industry is a supremely important event in Jiquilpan, since this was the most daring act of the administration of Lázaro Cárdenas from the point of view of offending the United States and a major symbol of Mexico's national independence. These pictures were taken in 1982. The event has become even more poignant today as national sovereignty seems to be increasingly undermined.
Oil workers carry the union banner.
The union's (then) eternal leaders are also paraded. Salinas imprisoned the union's leader for corruption, though his real motive seems to have been to demonstrate that the official unions could not challenge neoliberal economic strategy.
Another important revolutionary symbol, Pancho Villa rides again...
...though so does the carnival queen...
Independence Day parade, Guaracha, 1990 (click image for video)
Children also play important roles in secular political rituals, as marching in the parades and performing various kinds of traditional dances (click image for video)
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