A Mexican governor said Tuesday that organized crime was responsible for explosions at an Independence Day celebration that killed at least seven people and injured 101 in the colonial city of Morelia.
The attack happened just as Gov. Leonel Godoy was delivering the traditional "grito," or shout for independence, in Morelia's main plaza, where thousands had gathered to celebrate.
Godoy said that based on witness accounts and because of the damage and death toll, authorities believe someone launched several grenades into the crowd.

“What we have witnessed is that the police action of ICE against immigrants has divided the community, instilled fear in our streets, disrupted the everyday life of good people and separated family members, innocent of any crime, from one another . . . The confusing and secretive detention of those arrested has further complicated the situation. As religious leaders concerned for our people we would be negligent of our pastoral duties if we didn’t speak out against these unjust government policies and practices.”
Bishop Tobin and the following pastors in the Diocese of Providence signed the letter: Rev. Alfred Almonte, St. Bartholomew, Providence; Rev. Jose Cardenas Bonilla, Blessed Sacrament, Providence; Rev. Angelo Carusi, Blessed Sacrament, Providence; Rev. Thomas Ferland, St. Michael, Providence; Rev. Robert Giardina, St. Charles Borromeo, Providence; Rev. Gerald Harbour, St. John the Baptist, Pawtucket, Rev. Bernard Healey, Diocesan Governmental Liaison; Rev. Raymond Malm, St. Joseph, Newport; Rev. Stanley Nakowicz, Our Lady of Loreto, East Providence; Rev. Robert Perron, St. Joseph & Sacred Heart, Pawtucket; Msgr. Jacques Plante, St. John & James, West Warwick; Rev. James Ruggieri, St. Patrick, Providence; Rev. Mark Sauriol, All Saints, Woonsocket; Rev. Daniel Sweet, St. Anthony, Providence; and Rev. Mario Titotto, St. Bartholomew, Providence.
“I have learned that language—like a communion wafer at Mass—is most alive when it is on the tongue of a believer.” Ben Saenz

Originally Published: September 16th, 2008

Javier O. Huerta's debut collection Some Clarifications y otros poemas (Arte Publico 2007) received the 31st Chicano/Latino Literary Prize from UC Irvine. He is also the author of American Copia (2012). A graduate of the Bilingual MFA Program at UT El Paso, Huerta is currently a PhD student in the...

  1. September 16, 2008
     Forrest Gander

    No falta más que me arrancó del sueño, Javier. ! Que clamoroso!

  2. September 17, 2008

    Wonderful to read your words here and have others share in your un/documents of los clandestinos. Adelante, Rich.

  3. September 18, 2008
     Kent Johnson

    Fans of the Mexican national soccer team haven't had much to cheer about in the past eight years. Sounds like maybe they finally tied one...

  4. September 18, 2008
     Kent Johnson

    Forgive me for that last remark. Mexican soccer has suffered enough of late, and it really wasn't very nice of me to say that...

  5. September 18, 2008
     Kent Johnson

    To follow up, yet again. I'm a bit embarrassed:
    When I wrote those jokey soccer remarks, I completely missed that there is other--very serious and sobering--material beneath the first video link. I thought the video was ALL there was to the post.
    My apologies, as the comments are quite inappropriate, given what Javier goes on to write about.

  6. September 18, 2008
     Forrest Gander

    Like Kent, for some reason all I saw at first was the first video. Now I have the context for it. And I lived in Dolores Hidalgo, where Padre Hidalgo's grito was raised. And was just down in Ojinaga where the police were walking around with machine guns and the people were complaining about both the drug dealers and about the police who were breaking into anyone's house, putting bags over the heads of innocent men trying to extract confessions, etc. Still going on.

  7. September 19, 2008
     Javier Huerta

    Hi Kent:
    I'm sure no one was offended.
    I'm in El Paso for a confernece and a couple of high school speaking engagements, and I'm reminded of all the drug-related violence occuring across the border in Juarez. Even UTEP is advising their students not to go across the border. Of course this is complicated by the fact that a large percentage of the University students live or have families in Juarez. I studied creative writing three years at UTEP and would always cross the border to attend readings, encuentros, and browse through bookstores. I will probably heed the warnings and not go across this time, which is a shame because Juarez is really a beautiful city.
    The grito we (Mexico) need now is a grito of independence from the drug criminals who run so much of Mexico, especially on the norhern frontera, including my beloved Nuevo Laredo.
    But to engage your soccer remarks:
    RedSox Nation didn't seem the same after "reverse the curse" became a reality. If losing is such a part of who one is, then winning changes everything.
    Would Mexico be Mexico without defeat, without that farness from God and that proximity to the United States?
    Defeat, by the way, is why Mexicans (and Latin Americans) devour the works of Faulkner.

  8. September 19, 2008
     Kent Johnson

    Thanks, Javier. That's nice of you.
    I was in Puebla and surrounding Nahuatl towns for a few weeks in May, and I was dumbfounded by what I was hearing/reading about this crisis. It's worse than Colombia was, even, and we're hardly getting news of it here.
    And on losses: You are talking to a long-time Cubs fan, so yes, well-put. If we win it all, after a hundred years, we also lose our loss, irredeemably.
    grito fuerte,