I really need to start cracking on work but it turns out that there is a major celebration here in Morelia, Michoacán. And I suppose the beginning of all voyages to Latin America are like the second chapter of Los pasos perdidos: first you arrive to a country that is clearly 3d world and mysterious, no matter how familiar. Then you sleep, and then…
This morning I woke up feeling the mountain air and looking at the stone streets that have been here since the 16th century I felt I was in Old Castile about 50 years ago–where I was then, in fact. Then I saw soldiers and armed police and realized many streets were blocked off, and discovered it was for a parade celebrating the 252d birthday of the prócer José Ma. Morelos. After much circuitous walking, and fortunate purchase of newspapers, I secured a place in a café with a view of the parade, and saw it, composed of regiments from every ideological state apparatus, excepting the Church but including schools and universities, all dignitaries and many, many military. The countryside is at war, as we know, and the military were applauded.
I walked and saw very many other things but the most interesting was a man with people getting their pictures taken next to him. Someone standing next to me asked who it was and I said I did not know, but a third person explained that it was an important figure in the autodefensas of Michoacán (although he did not really look like or have the aspecto of Hipólito Mora, a famous leader in this).
There is a great deal else to recount but even sufficient contextualization of what I have noted down here would take a lot of writing. I visted Morelos’ birdthplace which was a casa de salud in his time (born 1765), and learned that Morelia’s streets were paved during the presidency of Miguel Alemán.