Sunday, May 19, 2024

COVID stoplight color will determine whether Mazatlán carnival goes ahead

Mazatlán’s annual carnival is likely to go ahead even if Sinaloa remains yellow on the coronavirus stoplight map, the mayor said this week.

Luis Guillermo Benítez Torres said that if the stoplight remains yellow, the final decision will be in his hands. “We are going to wait for the result of the stoplight because remember that being in yellow, it is no longer the power of any committee, it is the [power of the] municipal council,” he said.

However, Benítez insisted that he would follow the guidance of the governor: “I will respect what Governor Rubén Rocha Moya thinks. If in a given case he thinks it prudent, we will stop it.”

The news site Debate reported that Rocha supported the event going ahead if the stoplight remained yellow, but that Health Minister Héctor Melesio Cuén was against it.

Benítez said the stoplight color would be confirmed on Friday and that the signs were positive, given that the pandemic was declining. “I am sure that things will be on the right track … the pandemic is continuing to decline. While it’s true that there was a small fluctuation, it continues to fall,” he said.

The economic hit of canceling the event would be severe, Benítez added. “It would be quite bad for Mazatlán … for the local businesses. Imagine the hotel owners, who already received their deposits, giving back money in these times we are living in … [if it’s] yellow it’s very probable that it will go ahead.”

The planning of the event is already 90% complete and more than 70% of hotel rooms are taken, according to the news site.

Carnival is the biggest event of the year in Mazatlán and is reported to be the third largest in the world after Rio de Janeiro and New Orleans. It was first held in 1898 and is set to run from February 24-March 1.

With reports from Noroeste and Debate

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