Both President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and Jalisco Governor Enrique Alfaro issued the first gritos of their respective administrations last Sunday evening, but the nature of their rallying cries couldn’t have been more different.
While Alfaro respected the custom of hailing a select few Mexican independence heroes, including Miguel Hidalgo and Ignacio Allende, the president broke with tradition, issuing a slew of 20 “vivas” lasting almost three minutes. As well as including two women on his list of five independence heroes (Leona Vicaro and Josefa Ortiz de Dominguez), Lopez Obrador also paid tribute to: “anonymous heroes,” “the heroic people of Mexico,” “the indigenous communities,” “freedom,” “justice,” “democracy,” “our sovereignty,” “universal brotherhood,” “peace” and “Mexico’s great culture.”
Lopez Obrador’s break with tradition didn’t go down well with two former presidents, Felipe Calderon and Vicente Fox.
Fox tweeted that issuing 20 vivas was nothing more than the president “satisfying his gigantic ego,” while Calderon remarked, “Why distort a tradition that unites Mexicans. Is it because he’s trying to divide us?”
In another break with recent tradition, the president refused to fill the halls of the National Palace with dignitaries and walked alone to receive the Mexican flag before appearing on the balcony of the National Palace to deliver the grito.