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Full Circle

Day 222: Mexico City

Mexico City, Mexico 
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In the Zocalo. Endorsing Super Barrio for US president.
Michael Palin - Full CircleLeaving Super Barrio to work a growing crowd, I walk across to the Palacio Nacional. Government offices lead off an arcaded classical courtyard. Its walls are decorated with a unique and original series of murals by Mexico's most famous artist, Diego Rivera. I could see in these powerful paintings the same sources of inspiration as those of Super Barrio's street politics. Rivera was Marxist and chauvinist at the same time, idealizing the Aztec past (playing up the weaving and dancing, and playing down the human sacrifices), demonizing the Spanish conquerors and talking boldly and directly to the people.

By the time I leave the Palace Super Barrio has gone. Around the wooden fencing stand officials with pads solemnly noting down all the graffiti. A squad of workmen follows after them, painting over every inch of the mural. I stand and watch Justicia disappear letter by letter.

Later in the afternoon I go to the Coliseo Theatre to see Lucha Libre for myself. A wrestler called El Satanico is fighting Lizmark from Acapulco. The middle-aged lady next to me tells me he used to be a gravedigger. She's obviously a fan. She wears bright red lipstick and her hair is in tight black waxed curls. A large silver crucifix stands out against her red jumper, only to be flung to one side as she leaps up with lusty shouts of 'Kill him!', and 'Smash his teeth out!'.
Plaza Garibaldi, Mexico City, Mexico 
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Mariachi bands in Plaza Garibaldi.
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Full Circle
  • Day: 222
  • Country/sea: Mexico
  • Place: Mexico City
  • Book page no: 287

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