To celebrate his "victory," Porfirio Diaz threw a huge party to mark Mexico's first 100 years of independence from Spain, expending the nation's entire social budget on useless monuments, many of them lined up along Mexico City's Champs D'Elysie, the Paseo de la Reforma.
The pageantry culminated on Independence Day, September 16th with the installation of a gilded Angel of Independence on that glittering boulevard. Two months later, the Mexican revolution, led by Madero, exploded, and Diaz was forced to flee the country.
Just before Felipe Calderon took off to tete-a-tete with the dead in Davos, amidst patriotic bombast and flowery fireworks, the Mexican president announced the construction of the Arc of the Bicentennial to be inaugurated September 16th 2010, commemorating both the 200th year of Mexican independence and the 100-year anniversary of the beginning of the Mexican revolution. Following the Porfirian model, the Arc of the Bi-Centennial, whose cost was unannounced, will be built at the foot of the Paseo de la Reforma.
Mexico's political metabolism seems to break out in insurgencies every 100 years on the 10th year of the century. In 1810, the country priest Miguel Hidalgo launched the struggle for independence from the Crown. In 1910, Francisco Madero ignited the fuse of the epoch Mexican revolution.
At this writing, there are less than 330 days until 2010.
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