Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Party time: New Year’s celebrations carry on despite coronavirus

Rising Covid case numbers and bans against large gatherings in several states didn’t stop the partying New Year’s weekend at various tourism destinations throughout Mexico.

In some cases they were staged with the implicit go-ahead or outright patronage of government officials.

Parties, concerts, and other large public events rang in the new year in Veracruz, Quintana Roo, Jalisco, Nayarit  and Oaxaca. Many of the events came to light after attendees and organizers posted photos and videos of the events online.

In Veracruz, despite eight cities being on maximum Covid alert and a statewide ban on large gatherings since December 6, organizers in Catemaco held a large dance party Saturday night at a baseball stadium over 1,000 reportedly in attendance. Videos posted on social media made it clear that little mask wearing or social distancing practices were being observed.

The event appeared to have been organized by, among others, Veracruz politicians. State Congress president Juan Javier Gómez Casarín posted videos of the event on his social media account, as did an ex-mayoral candidate.

Two other similar events also happened not far from Catemaco, including a concert and a party in the municipalities of Tlalixcoyan and Alvarado.

In Puerto Vallarta, Bahía de Banderas and Nuevo Vallarta, a three-day “White Party New Year’s Weekend” on December 30–January 3 attracted large gatherings at various points in the three locales. A video posted online reportedly of the Nuevo Vallarta event showed attendees at a beach party with little regard for social distance measures or the wearing of masks.

The sister event in Bahía de Banderas was organized with the implicit permission of authorities, who allegedly told a reporter off the record that despite the large numbers, officials were only keeping an eye on the event to make sure sanitary measures were being followed.

In Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, an event at La Piedra de la Iguana, a private club on Zicatela Beach, got a lot of attention thanks to the bar itself posting photos online of the electronic music party, in which attendees could be seen neither wearing masks nor observing safe social distances and the bar could be seen selling alcoholic beverages, all in violation of state law.

In Quintana Roo, thousands of people could be seen congregating in streets outside the nightclubs and bars of Cancún and Playa del Carmen despite Governor Carlos Joaquín González having announced a ban on gatherings of more than 10 people on December 16.

Sources: El Universal (sp), Milenio (sp), Infobae (sp)

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