There aren’t really that many statues around Mexico City. Not from a Londoners perspective. For the same reason there aren’t that many war memorials around Mexico City, from a Londoners perspective. The UK, formerly Great Britain, and before that just plain old England, has had a bit of a war addiction for the last thousand years or so, which is why every corner has a bronze cast of some hero or another. Or villain. Depends on your ‘human’ perspective.
But there are statues here in the Distrito Federal. One of my favourites is the one below of Cuauhtemoc, an Aztec ruler. One of the last. Second to last in fact. There are several more, including a full figure statue along Reforma. I like this one because the Independence Day decorations contrast nicely with his bust every September. And because he has a somewhat quizzical look on his face as he looks over to the huge Metropolitan Cathedral. Which he would not have seen with his own eyes during life.
How times have changed since his unfortunate confrontation with Hernan Cortes and the Conquistadores in the early 1520’s. He really needed some more effective help from other native tribes in fighting off the dastardly Spaniards. He wouldn’t recognise the land he called home today. It would seem all a bit weird. But things have been weird lately even by modern Mexican standards. The continuing saga of the Chinese man found in a house with a couple of hundred million dollars cash on him for starters. And Mexico’s lastest great robbers. Not quite living up to the style I’m used to back in Blighty where mail trains are hijacked for large sums of cash. Nope, that’s peanuts to these guys. Literally. As for the narco ganags….really! Cutting off heads? Surely they should be ripping out hearts?
Were the Aztecs environmentalists? I don’t know. Although the famous, but mysterious, pre Aztec civilisation that inhabited the famous city now known as Teotihuacan probably weren’t. One of the more plausible reasons offered for the sudden and total collapse of the city was that it had grown so large, they had stripped bare the surrounding areas of essential resources, till there was not enough left to make the city a viable proposition. Natural droughts and famine probably didn’t help.
Mexico City was/is going the same way. But some efforts are being made to improve things. Plastic bags, for example, are now forbidden fruit. Any shopkeeper handing one out free of charge faces fines amounting to $90,000. Whether that’s pesos or dollars I’m not sure. It probably doesn’t matter as far as my local tiendas are concerned. A measly 9,000 pesos would push some of them into bankruptcy. Such is life. Viva Cuauhtemoc!