Saturday, December 28, 2013

Innocent's Day

The original title to this blog was "Verguenza en Juárez," but then I got schooled.

As the day began, I was already pissed off because my car is back in the shop. For the 3rd time in two weeks. Today is not my day. I was feeling sorry for myself, pessimistic about life and ready to smack anyone who looked at me the wrong way. I honestly wasn't even planning on blogging today, I feel so out of it. Then I came across this article in El Diario. Of course.


Derrumbarán la Equis por insegura

Gabriela Minjáres 
El Diario | 2013-12-27 | 22:48

La escultura monumental construida por Sebastián en el bordo fronterizo, la Equis, fue clausurada ayer y será derrumbada el próximo mes porque las autoridades locales detectaron “graves daños estructurales” que ponen en riesgo a la ciudadanía.

El dictamen fue emitido por la Dirección de Obras Públicas, Desarrollo Urbano y Protección Civil del Gobierno Municipal, luego de que autoridades de El Paso, Texas, pidieron revisar las condiciones de seguridad del monumento de 62 metros que se localiza a unos metros del Río Bravo.

El comité técnico revisor determinó que la estructura de acero corre el riesgo de desplomarse porque la base no tiene el diseño adecuado para sostener el cuerpo completo que pesa más de 100 toneladas; la soldadura presenta defectos, las perforaciones donde se colocaron los tornillos no corresponden al diámetro de éstos y no cuenta con refuerzos laterales.

Además, se detectaron fallas en el sistema eléctrico y la carencia de uno para la extinción de incendios, lo que pone en riesgo a las personas que entran a la estructura para subir al mirador que se localiza justo en el centro del monumento, el cual parece un ojo.

Se comentó que la demolición es inminente por el riesgo que representa para la ciudadanía y porque el Gobierno Municipal carece de recursos para hacer las reparaciones correspondientes, las cuales costarían hasta unos 25 millones de pesos, casi la mitad del costo total de la pura escultura.

El ex presidente municipal Héctor Murguía y el ex director de Obras Públicas, Arcadio Serrano García, no fueron localizados para conocer su opinión acerca de la clausura y demolición de la principal obra realizada durante su gestión, porque todo esto no es verdad, “inocente palomita que te dejaste engañar, sabiendo que en este día en nadie debes confiar”.


First of all, I'd like to apologize to my readers who don't speak Spanish and secondly, after reading this, all I could think was, "Are you fucking kidding me?"

For those who couldn't read the article, I apologize. It explains that they've decided that for the safety of the people, they will be tearing down the X sculpture here in Juarez. This 197 foot tall, 80 ton sculpture cost $2.8 US million dollars to build, plus an additional $3.4 million US for La Mexicanidad plaza and esplanade. Its inauguration was only 7 short months ago. However, the reporter said that the base wasn't designed efficiently enough to sustain the weight of the sculpture.

I couldn't believe my eyes. I called my husband, who was waiting impatiently at the mechanic's. I went off, in true Emily style. He went on to tell me he wouldn't have believed me, but that he was reading the same thing in the newspaper he found in the shop's waiting room. "Ni modo," he remarked sadly. "Typical Mexico."

Although its inception was highly controversial, we supported it. Many people argued that the city should use the money in other, more logical ways. In the schools, the roads, the parks. While I would agree that those things were and are unquestionably more worthy of the city's funds, I also realized that the suggestion of this sculpture came at a crucial time for Juarez. A time when the streets were dead. Literally. When they began to build La Equis, people didn't attend events in Juarez, much less dare to walk to the corner street vendor for tacos. 

The year construction of this sculpture began, there were over 3,000 homicides in Ciudad Juarez. I had just arrived to the city myself, and the violence was present in everything. Even in the street tacos. 

The sculpture's designer, Enrique Carbajal González aka Sebastian, was quoted stating that La X was "full of meanings, a mark to welcome people and to demonstrate the ancestral Mexican culture." In the El Paso Times, I also read that it was "a tribute to Juárez's namesake, Mexican President Benito Juárez, who changed the spelling of the country's name in the 1800s, from Méjico to Mexico and it symbolized the mestizaje, or merging of two cultures in Mexico." But for me, breaking ground on this project represented something more. A new Juarez. The promise of cultural events and concerts and a new museum was a promise of much, much more. It was the promise of a new beginning. 

I assumed that in a city so large, and in 2013 for fuck's sake, people would have already looked into safety and structural issues before they began a project that cost a troubled city more than 75 million pesos to realize. I suppose that was just my American optimism though. Now all Juarez had to look forward to was the "I told you so's." I was sitting here thinking to myself that this was so ridiculous, it had to be some kind of joke and maybe there's some sort of Mexican version of April Fool's Day in December that I was unaware of. I posted a link to the article on Facebook, completely enraged. 

Much to my surprise, my hopes came true. 

Shortly after posting, a friend informed me that the story wasn't true. I questioned her response and she went on to tell me that today is Dia de los Inocentes in Mexico, osea, Innocent's Day. I was doubtful at first and began Googling like a mad-woman. I saw the quote "inocente palomita que te dejaste engañar, sabiendo que en este día en nadie debes confiar," on several websites about Innocent's Day and recognized it from the original article. Apparently there is a Mexican version of April Fool's Day. And of course, even Gordo fell for it.

A gringa never stops learning in Mexico.

The original final line to this blog involved me shaming the sculpture's designer for his epic fail. I guess now all I can say is Feliz Día de los Santos Inocentes?


  1. Día de los Santos Inocentes is my favorite day to watch the news and those morning TV shows here in Mexico because they come up with the strangest and craziest stories.

    I'm like a little kid on Dia de los Santos Inocentes! I have SO much fun playing jokes on friends and family. This morning I asked hubby to lend me 500 pesos because being that it's Dia de los Santos Inocentes I don't have to pay him back. EVER. So that is another lesson for those unfamiliar with Santos Inocentes...don't ever lend money to anyone here in Mexico on December 28th, because you'll never get it back.

    1. You are horrible! Haha! You totally had me going on the pregnancy...

  2. Replies
    1. Looking back... yes. I'm feeling a little less stupid every day ;)

  3. LOL! And of course, only Mexico would commemorate the massacre of a bunch of innocent babies with wacky practical jokes. Because what's funnier than infanticide?

    1. Oh great... I didn't know the origin of the day. Until you triggered me to Google it. That's pretty wacked.

  4. To funny I had no idea a city would take it as far as posting a false article. Thats great. Honestly Leslie is the only one who has ever gotten me with thier jokes and dang it she gets me every year. I loved reading your post lots of fun thanks.

    1. That's exactly what I was thinking! I couldn't believe they took it so far... I'm glad you're enjoying the blog!

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