The National Guard is set to lead Friday’s Independence Day military parade in Mexico City, and will be formally placed under the control of the army at a ceremony in the capital’s central square, or zócalo.
Soldiers, marines and Air Force personnel will also participate, but the parade – scheduled for 11 a.m. Central Time – will be dedicated to the three-year old security force created by the current federal government.
“The parade will be dedicated to the National Guard, but public servants responsible for public security will also participate,” President López Obrador said earlier this week.
The plan for the parade includes more than 7,000 members of the National Guard marching through the streets of Mexico City accompanied by smaller numbers of personnel from the military forces, with over 100 military aircraft will flying overhead. The parade has been held annually since 1935, when Lázaro Cárdenas was president.
This year’s edition – which celebrates the 212th anniversary of the start of the Mexican War of Independence – comes a week after the Senate passed a bill authorizing the Ministry of National Defense to take administrative and operational control of the National Guard, which is currently part of the civilian Security Ministry.
Security Minister Rosa Icela Rodríguez will officially confer responsibility for the security force to the army during a ceremony in the zócalo.
Among the other officials who will speak are National Defense Minister Luis Cresencio Sandoval, Navy Minister Rafael Ojeda Durán and President López Obrador, who on Thursday night delivered the “Cry of Independence” – El Grito – from the National Palace, wishing long life to Mexico, independence heroes and a long list of ideals including freedom, equality and peace, and death to corruption, classism and racism.
One proud member of the military set to participate in today’s march is Dalia Vanessa Morales Mendoza, a military police officer in the Mexican army who will lead a contingent of 51 women. Although she has been in the army for over 14 years, she has only ever marched in her home town of Querétaro city.
Morales told the newspaper La Jornada that she and other military policewomen trained at an army base in Mexico City for 1 1/2 months to prepare for the parade.
“Before this we didn’t know each other but we lived together for 1 1/2 months, rehearsing several hours a day,” she said early Friday after sleeping just five hours.
“Today we’ll march together,” she told her comrades as they prepared to leave their barracks. “It’s a special day for all of us. We’re going to demonstrate our training, discipline and morale, and the spirit of our group.”