Published On: Thu, Mar 6th, 2014

Mérida Carnival 2014 “A Social Experiment”

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Tuesday March 4th, was the closing ceremony of the Mérida Carnival 2014 in the Xmatkuil fairgrounds.

Guest artists such as Mexican actor David Zepeda and Costa Rican actress/singer Maribel Guardia, were part of the festivity in which families had a great time despite the intense heat.

As every year, “The Battle of Flowers” was the last parade of the Merida Carnival 2014, which according to the Municipality, gathered approximately 200,000 people within the Xmatkuil fairgrounds, and the Mayor declared that this number exceeded the expectations by far (assuming it is correct).

Protest on Paseo de Montejo

When Mayor Renan Barrera Concha was questioned about the so called “alternate parade” that took place in Paseo de Montejo, as a protest for taking the carnival away from this venue, he said: “I respect the citizenship’s decisions, but I invite them to visit the Plaza Carnaval and get to know all that it has to offer”.

Barrera Concha added that people has the right to publicly manifest and express their opinion, but without affecting third parties in order to protest; referring to the fact that Paseo de Montejo was blocked for several hours causing heavy traffic and upsetting other citizens.

Compromising Letter

On Monday March 3rd, the image of a letter allegedly sent by Municipal authorities to the City Hall workers was published on several local news websites and social networks.

The letter signed by the Senior Officer Mario Alberto Martínez Laviada, reads as follows:

Dear Assistant Directors and Managers:

We are doing OK with the Carnival, but we need to close stronger these last two days. The actions we have to implement in order to reverse the bad comments saying that we are failing, basically posted on social networks, are the following:

1) You have to be very active in social networks posting good comments about Plaza Carnaval, tell all your colleagues and collaborators to support this action and we need to set the example as team leaders.

2) It is mandatory to attend the parades today and tomorrow, if possible with our families in regional costume. The parades are today at 7 pm and tomorrow at 1 pm (Those who are traveling and can not attend are justified, but they need to pass the word to their collaborators).  I want to insist that these actions are required, I emphasize the importance of a strong close of the festivities, I will call roll.

Best Regards

L.A.E. Mario Alberto Martinez Laviada Senior Officer


Letter sent by Mario Alberto Martínez Laviada to his staff

Summary of detentions during previous Carnivals

One of the most important facts to take in consideration, is that during this Carnival there were absolutely no arrests or detentions.

On 2011, 58 people were arrested, according to the article published on on March 7th 2011. (Read the note here).

On 2012, 35 people were arrested, according to the article published on blog on February 22nd 2012.  (Read the note here). 

On 2013, more than 25 people were arrested according to the article published on, on February 12th 2013. (Read the note here). 

In most cases, during previous carnivals, people were arrested due to peace disturbances while intoxicated with alcohol.

Fact is, this year there were absolutely no detentions whatsoever, not in Xmatkuil, or on the so called “alternate parade” that took place Tuesday on Paseo de Montejo.

The eternal battle between political parties

Mexico has three main political parties, the PRI, the PAN and the PRD, but there are several important smaller ones that often form alliances with the three larger ones.  Here in Yucatan, PRI and PAN are the two dominant parties.

Most Mexican people don’t think politics is an interesting subject, we think it’s boring, and believe it is better not to mess with things we do not understand. This is actually one of the greatest victories for corrupt politicians in this country.

Behind the apparent joy and fun that an annual Carnival is supposed to bring for the people, a bitter war is raging between the two eternal rivals.

PRI and PAN are always wrestling over control of any situation that can signify a means of economical benefit for them, and they forget that they have the responsibility to lead the country towards better development and social welfare.

By Alejandro Azcárate

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