15 November 2007

Year of the Fatherland

It seems like every hundred years Mexico turns a corner and reinvents itself. The year 1810 was the year of the fight for Independence. The year 1910 was the year of the Revolution. The current president of Mexico, Felipe Calderón has declared that the year 2010 will be known as the “Year of the Fatherland” when Mexico commemorates the independence movement that began in 1810 and eventually freed Mexico from Spain. The country will also celebrate one hundred years since the start of the revolution in 1910 that promoted the political, social and civil rights of Mexicans, and culminated in the establishment of the present constitution. How Mexicans will celebrate the 2010 anniversary and how they reconsider their past, their present present, and their hopes for the future remains unclear. I would like to think that the 2010 celebration will be a model of decorum and patriotic celebration but the reality is that it will probable be a tense time. The popular consensus among pundits is that Mexico has just a few short years to get its house in order before the 2012 elections. The 2010 anniversary comes just two years before the elections and it will give every political crackpot imaginable a platform from which to launch a new revolution.

The people of the Mexican states of Tabasco and Chiapas recently underwent a great tragedy involving a flood of immense proportions and it will take years to rebuild their homes, their infrastructure, and their livelihoods. This geographical area has always been a political hotspot because of ethnic and racial diversity and great poverty in the midst of great wealth. It just so happens that Tabasco in particular is where much of Mexico’s oil and natural gas business is located. Tabasco and Chiapas would just as soon secede from Mexico and go their own merry way. They could do very well for themselves on the revenue they could receive just by selling their natural resources to the United States who would probably be only to happy to oblige by their patronage. Mexico could never afford to let that happen and what happens in Mexico will have far reaching implications for the rest of Latin America. I am afraid that there are some tough times ahead. I only hope that under the leadership of President Calderón the Mexican people can find their way to pull together. I shudder to think about the consequences if the don’t. Let’s hope that future historians don’t refer to 2010 as the “Year of the Disaster”.

!Viva México!

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I was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A. I have been living in Mexico since January 6th, 1999. I am continually studying to improve my knowledge of the Spanish language and Mexican history and culture. I am also a student of Mandarin Chinese.