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¡Cerverza y liberdad!

2 July 2011

A total of 26 people, mostly youths, were arrested by city police during the demonstration  Thursday night on Paseo Olas Altas, protesting the implementation of the “Zero Tolerance” program which sanctions drinking alcoholic beverages in public.

Those arrested by the Preventative Police “Good Government Squad” were released after paying fines of between six and eight minimum wages.

Noroeste (Mazatlán, Sinaloa) 1 July 2011

I can think of better things to demonstrate against, but not being a drinker (something of a handicap in a cultural backwater with nothing but a beach and brewery to particularly recommend the place) the ridiculous “Zero Tolerance” law doesn’t affect me directly.

The new PAN Presidente Muncipal, Alejandro Higuera Osuno, aka “el diablo azul” (“the blue devil”, the PAN logo being blue and white), is described by Sinaloan political writer Jorge Luis Telles as the kind of politician who “wants to be the bride at every wedding, the baby at every baptism and the corpse at every funeral.”  In short, ambitious (it’s no secret he is unsatisfied as the big fish in the small pond of municipal politics and harbors ambitions of holding state or national office) and greedy for attention.  Although he campaigned as a reformist for the job he’s held twice before, Higuera’s base is the “piety wing” of PAN, and “moral reform” is the kind of thing likely to bring him the support from the base on a more than municipal level.

What’s scary isn’t that this is politics as usual, but that it is the usual political response.  What I mean is that having been promised reform by the opposition (even if it included having to tolerate puritanical “reforms” like blue laws — we can’t buy beer on Sundays any more either), once in office, the “reformers” respond to even a minor challenge to their authority (and how much of a threat to the Republic, or even to public order were a bunch of kids demanding the right to drink beer on the beachfront anyway?) the same way the allegedly despised anti-democratic previous party did… with a massive show of force.  Police units with Orwellian sounding names coming in and drawing weapons on a bunch of kids drinking beer is hardly a sales pitch for democratic reform… it’s the same sort of coercion they supposedly were campaigning against.

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss?  Not quite… the old boss didn’t care if you had a beer in public.  And you can’t blame people for preferring the devil they knew to the “diablo azul”.

One Comment leave one →
  1. 7 December 2011 4:00 am

    It pisses me off to see how those sanctimonious PAN politicians who arrive in the plaza to moralize everyday life as though they were elected to do that. Hell no! they are to mind their business!

    I don’t know how serious is “outdoor drinking” in Mexico, I’m a mexican (well, sort of, a Sinaloan) living in France for years, people here love to go out and picnic (and drink) during the summer, there’s always at least one bottle of wine in everyone’s larder. Poor young mazatlecos… I wonder HOW THEY CAN CHILL OUT in spite of the atmosphere of violence prevailing in Mexico. Does the mayor want them to fall into depression ?

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