MEXICO CITY – Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto kicked off on Sunday the civil-military parade commemorating the country’s 208th Independence Day in Mexico City.
A total of 18,736 members of the army, air force, navy and Federal Police participated in the event, the last that Peña Nieto will preside over as president, which began at 11 am in the Zocalo – Mexico City’s huge central square – with the raising of the national flag and the singing of the national anthem.
Then, the president reviewed the troops deployed on the Zocalo and took his place on the main balcony of the National Palace, where he watched the parade with first lady Angelica Rivera, Defense Secretary Salvador Cienfuegos and Navy Secretary Vidal Francisco Soberon.
During the parade’s 90 minutes, with the participants making their way from the Zocalo to the Mars Military Sports Field, some 4,800 people deployed on the square used colored cards and panels to create mosaics representing the national flag and assorted images of the armed forces.
Under the gaze of thousands of members of the public who gathered along the parade route, a total of 401 terrestrial vehicles, 177 aircraft, 53 rescue dogs, 269 horses and thousands of troops with all branches of Mexico’s armed forces passed by.
One of the most celebrated moments came when rescue personnel from the navy, army and Mexico City’s emergency rescue squad passed by, all of them having helped in the tragic Sept. 19, 2017, magnitude-7.1 earthquake that struck central and southern Mexico killing at least 369 people.
A number of specially created and colorful floats – each with its particular theme – also passed along the parade route.
A total of some 5,200 capital police were deployed to maintain security along the eight-kilometer (5-mile) route, and no incidents were reported.