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September 17, 2010

Mexico's Bicentennial

This week, Mexico commemorated the 200th anniversary of the beginning of its War of Independence. In September of 1810, a Mexican priest named Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla uttered a call to arms against the Spanish, later known as the Grito de Dolores ("Cry of Dolores"). Soon after began a series of battles with the Spanish that would build into a war that lasted over a decade, eventually resulting in independence. This bicentennial year, tens of thousands of Mexicans thronged the streets of Mexico City to celebrate. The celebrations took place under a somewhat subdued light though, amid the violence of a brutal nationwide drug war and vocal criticism of government spending on the lavish ceremonies. Collected here are photos of this week's celebration of 200 years of Mexican independence. (42 photos total)

Members of the military wearing traditional clothing, take part in a rehearsal ahead of Mexico's bicentennial Independence parade in Mexico City on Friday, Sept. 10, 2010. (AP Photo/Alexandre Meneghini)

Pilatus PC-7 aircraft fly in formation during bicentennial celebrations this week marking the Mexican War of Independence from 1810-1821, in Mexico City September 13, 2010. (REUTERS/Henry Romero) #

An artist works on his painting of a Mexican revolutionary, during the "Independence Bicentenary and Revolution Centenary" contest, organized by local authorities, in Mexico City, on September 11, 2010. (ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP/Getty Images) #

Mexican troops wearing period costumes take part in the re-enactment of a historic battle during bicentennial celebrations this week, in Mexico City September 13, 2010. (REUTERS/Henry Romero) #

People watch members of the military perform reenactments of Mexico's historic battles during bicentennial celebrations in Mexico City, Monday Sept. 13, 2010. (AP Photo/Alexandre Meneghini) #

Miss Universe 2010 Ximena Navarrete, from Mexico, speaks to the press as she arrives at Benito Juarez International Airport to be an honored guest at Mexico's Bicentennial celebrations, on Monday Sept. 13, 2010. (AP Photo/Miguel Tovar) #

An escaramuza team member attends a Bicentennial Charreada in Tijuana, Mexico, Sunday Sept. 12, 2010. (AP Photo/Guillermo Arias) #

A charro performs during a Bicentennial Charreada in Tijuana, Mexico, Sunday Sept. 12, 2010. (AP Photo/Guillermo Arias) #

School girls wear typical dresses while dancing during a presentation at a school in Mexico City September 14, 2010. (REUTERS/Claudia Daut) #

A Mexican artist performs during Mexico's Pavilion Day Thursday, Sept. 16, 2010, at the Shanghai Expo site in Shanghai, China. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko) #

Members of Mexico's military commemorate the 1847 battle of the "Ninos Heroes," or "Heroic Children," a group of cadets who died defending the military academy in Mexico City during the Mexican-American War, during bicentennial celebrations in Mexico City, Monday Sept. 13, 2010. (AP Photo/Alexandre Meneghini) #

Mexican troops take part in bicentennial celebrations this week in Mexico City September 13, 2010. (REUTERS/Henry Romero) #

A student from a local military academy holds an eagle during bicentennial celebrations in Coacalco, on the outskirts of Mexico City, Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2010. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte) #

An actor performs the "Fuego Nuevo" or "New Fire" ceremony during bicentennial celebrations at the Zocalo plaza in Mexico City, Wednesday Sept. 15, 2010. (AP Photo/Alexandre Meneghini) #

Thousands of people gather in Zocala Square to mark Mexico's 200th anniversary in Mexico City on September 15, 2010. (REUTERS/Jose Hernandez) #

An acrobat performs during a rehearsal for the bicentennial independence parade in Mexico City, Sunday Sept, 12, 2010. (AP Photo/Miguel Tovar) #

A dancer performs during the bicentennial parade in Mexico City on Wednesday Sept. 15, 2010. (AP Photo/Miguel Tovar) #

A mariachi boy sits on the ground during the Bicentennial celebration September 15, 2010 in Mexico City. (© Bruno Gomez De la Cueva) #

A performer representing America rides on a float during a parade as Mexico marks its 200th anniversary in Mexico City on September 15, 2010. (REUTERS/Felipe Courzo) #

Mexican army soldiers march in the Independence Day military parade during bicentennial celebrations in Mexico City's main Zocalo plaza, Thursday Sept. 16, 2010. (AP Photo/Miguel Tovar) #

A person dressed in the likeness of the Angel of Independence, left, floats by the actual Angel of Independence monument during a bicentennial parade in Mexico City, Wednesday Sept. 15, 2010. (AP Photo/Miguel Tovar) #

A young man watches the parade, proudly wearing a Mexican "Lucha Libre" mask on September 15, 2010 in Mexico City. (© Bruno Gomez De la Cueva) #

Members of the Mexican air force march in the Independence Day military parade during bicentennial celebrations in Mexico City's main Zocalo plaza, Thursday Sept. 16, 2010. (AP Photo/Miguel Tovar) #

Planes fly over the Angel of Independence during a military parade in Mexico City September 16, 2010. (REUTERS/Eliana Aponte) #

Puppets representing revolutionary hero Emiliano Zapata parade past as Mexico marks its 200th anniversary in Mexico City on September 15, 2010. (REUTERS/Felipe Courzo) #

Dancers perform during the bicentennial parade in Mexico City, Wednesday Sept. 15, 2010. (AP Photo/Miguel Tovar) #

People watch as part of a statue, which represents Mexicans who are willing to stand up against adversities, passes by during a parade in Mexico City on September 15, 2010. (REUTERS/Gerardo Garcia) #

People dressed as horned skeletons cycle by during the bicentennial parade in Mexico City, Wednesday Sept. 15, 2010. (AP Photo/Miguel Tovar) #

Chinelo dancers perform during the bicentennial parade in Mexico City, Wednesday Sept. 15, 2010. (AP Photo/Miguel Tovar) #

Performers dressed as La Catrina, a popular figure in Mexico, parade in Mexico City on September 15, 2010. (REUTERS/Felipe Courzo) #

Thousands of people gather in Zocala Square to mark the 200th anniversary of the day rebel priest Miguel Hidalgo set Mexico on a path to independence, in Mexico City September 15, 2010. (REUTERS/Jose Hernandez) #

A float symbolizing the Quetzalcoatl, or the Plumed Serpent, passes in front of the National Palace during bicentennial celebrations in the Zocalo plaza in Mexico City, Wednesday Sept. 15, 2010. (AP Photo/Alexandre Meneghini) #

People watch while the parade crosses in front of them on September 15, 2010 in Mexico City. (© Bruno Gomez De la Cueva) #

The Metropolitan cathedral is lit by fireworks during bicentennial celebrations in Mexico City's main Zocalo plaza, Wednesday Sept. 15, 2010. (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills) #

Mexico's President Felipe Calderon waves the national flag in Mexico City on September 15, 2010. (REUTERS/Henry Romero) #

Actors perform during the ceremony for the Bicentenary of the country's Independence, at the Zocalo square in Mexico City, on September 15, 2010. (Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty Images) #

People form the word "Mexico" during bicentennial celebrations in Mexico City's downtown Zocalo plaza on Wednesday Sept. 15, 2010. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte) #

Fireworks light the evening sky over in Mexico City on September 15, 2010. (ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP/Getty Images) #

Performers embrace during bicentennial celebrations in Mexico City's main Zocalo plaza, Wednesday Sept. 15, 2010. (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills) #

Fireworks explode in green, white and red displays over the National Palace during opening ceremonies for the Bicentenary of Mexican Independence on September 15, 2010 in Mexico City. (LUIS ACOSTA/AFP/Getty Images) #

The sculpture "The Colossus" is assembled at Zocalo square in Mexico City during celebrations of its bicentenary, in Mexico City on September 15, 2010. (Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty Images) #

Fireworks explode over the Metropolitan Cathedral during bicentennial celebrations at Zocalo square in Mexico City, Wednesday Sept. 15, 2010. (AP Photo/Alexandre Meneghini) #

 
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