Mexico City dedicated its Day of the Dead parade to migrants on Saturday, as thousands of Central Americans marched from the country’s southern border to the United States under pressure from US President Donald Trump to disband.
In a twist on the traditional dancing skeletons and marigold-adorned altars that run through the capital’s main thoroughfare, the parade also referenced Mexicans who emigrated as well as foreigners who settled in the capital.
“The parade (…) is dedicated to migrants who, during their transit to other countries, have lost their lives and who, crossing the country, have contributed to a real ‘city of refuge'”, declared the Mexico City government on Twitter.
In one segment, gray metal signs depicting the Mexican side of the US border wall were stenciled with the phrase “There are dreams on this side too.”
Other presentations honored exiled Spaniards, Argentineans and Jews, the Mexico City culture ministry said.
The event leading up to November 1 and 2, when Mexicans celebrate the Day of the Dead in city squares, homes and cemeteries, happened to coincide with the journey of a caravan of migrants heading to Mexico, including many were fleeing violence and poverty in Honduras and Guatemala.
Some are considering seeking asylum in Mexico. Others intend to reach the United States, angering Trump who has threatened to close the border and cut off aid to Central American countries.
The caravan arrived in the southern state of Oaxaca on Saturday and could reach Mexico City as early as next Friday. City officials will provide four shelters to house the group, according to local media.
Their arrival risks causing tension, said Johan Rivera, 36, a spectator at the parade.
” It’s delicate. … There’s a lot to think about and analyze,” he said.
The parade, which included dancers representing monarch butterflies, famous for their long migratory routes, ended at a massive altar decorated with skeletons that local authorities have dedicated to deceased migrants.
“Mexico has always, traditionally, been a country of crossings,” said Mariana Villalobos, 33, during the parade. “It has a long tradition of welcoming migrants and refugees alike.
And the current political situation…shows that it’s something very much alive.