On our way to the Church of St James where Juan Diego was baptized in 1529, I was told about an incident that was covered up until fairly recently. Mexico City hosted the 1968 Olympics and the day before international media descended upon the city, on October 2, there was a demonstration by students seeking social justice. The government brutally clamped down and as many as 5000 people disappeared. Newspaper headlines the following day described the wonderful weather that was going to greet the opening of the Olympics. The monument at the Plaza of the Three Cultures that was unveiled in 1993, 25 years after the massacre, commemorates a few of the missing and cries out against the conspiratorial silence that quashed any meaningful inquiry concerning the terrible carnage.
The church of the fifth apparition in Tulpetlac marks the appearance of the Lady to the ailing uncle of Juan Diego. The 18th century paintings looked faded and dark with grime and dirt. The priest in his homily spoke out against the “cult of the holy death”. Many youths believe that by placing a religious object in a self-inflicted laceration in their arms would protect them from death. He spoke about 3 young men dealing in drugs who died in a shootout with the police the night before.
Teotihuacan is an impressive archaeological center that features a museum which describes the advanced civilization of pre-Hispanic America. There are 2 massive pyramids that provide an amazing view of the city that flourished 1500 years earlier.