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At dusk on Tuesday, September 15, Tijuana launched several celebrations to kick off Mexican independence day, which begins at midnight every September 16. The largest and most heavily attended of these celebrations was in front of the Palacio in Zona Rio. Thousands of people attended the crowded spectacle, which included live music, a wide variety of foods, and other family attractions, including fireworks.

Security was heavy and well represented by the local and state police, armed forces, federal agents, and fire and ambulance crews. At around eleven in the evening local time, Tijuana mayor Jorge Ramos delivered the traditional grito de independencia, cry of independence. Beginning with ¡Viva Mexico! ¡Viva la republica! The gritos also included honoring the past heroes of Mexico.

The gritos de independencia, also called the gritos de Dolores, find their roots from the city of Dolores in the state of Guanajuato. A priest, Miguel Hidalgo, rang the church bell early on the morning of September 16, 1810, and gave a rousing speech to mostly peasants to incite them to fight the non-indigenous Spaniards. This launched a revolutionary war that ranks among the bloodiest and deadliest in the history of the Americas. It lasted for over a decade.

2010 will mark the 200th anniversary of Mexico’s independence, which will undoubtedly spawn enormous patriotic celebrations not seen since the centennial celebration by then president Porfirio Diaz. It was Diaz in 1910 who moved the beginning of the celebration back to the evening before the actual date, which happens to be the date of his birth.

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SDaniels Sept. 18, 2009 @ 1:11 a.m.

el dio Diaz indeedy!

Happy Independence, gringo!

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David Dodd Sept. 21, 2009 @ 1:41 p.m.

Thanks, SD. Actually, I didn't enjoy it very much. I'll blog a long entry about it, but there were too many people. It's getting more and more commercialized. Cramming 17,000 people into a parking lot is highly overrated.

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Josh Board Sept. 21, 2009 @ 2:53 p.m.

Good story, refried.

I wonder if...instead of all the people being shot in TJ these days they instead, on this day...shot their guns into the air in celebration.

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David Dodd Sept. 21, 2009 @ 3 p.m.

Thanks, Josh.

Actually, there are three days that people shoot guns into the air here: Christmas Eve/Day, New Year's Eve/Day, and on the Eve/Day of the celebration for the virgin Guadalupe. It's frightening. Guns are supposed to be illegal here, but those particular holidays remind us that many people own guns, regardless. And the bullets come down at about the same velocity they leave the barrel of the gun...

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Josh Board Sept. 22, 2009 @ 1:38 a.m.

I always heard that bullets came down with the same velocity. But then I believe on Penn & Teller's Bull$hit show, it turned out they didn't. Or maybe I'm remembering it completely wrong.

I'm sure anti will post some links.

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SDaniels Sept. 22, 2009 @ 1:48 a.m.

Hey refried, I'm sure you have some ideas about the stats of murders and gun-involved crime per capita in the states vs. in Mexico.

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David Dodd Sept. 22, 2009 @ 1:59 a.m.

Josh: You are correct, bullets reach a maximum velocity on the way down. However, in most instances, it mirrors the velocity that the bullet exits the gun. I think it's around 500 feet per second, but I can't be sure about that. Still, it's enough to kill someone standing around outside.

SD: I've never studied that. If I were to guess, gun related crimes would be lower here vs. the U.S., but when I get a chance, I'll happily see what I can find out. It's an interesting comparison.

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rickeysays Sept. 22, 2009 @ 5:01 p.m.

I researched this once out of curiosity, and people came up with different answers. It depends on many factors: the angle the bullet is fired from, the muzzle velocity of the bullet, air resistance, etc, but the consensus was that although a falling bullet could theoretically kill you, it's much more likely to just leave a bruise.

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SDaniels Sept. 22, 2009 @ 6:40 p.m.

Yikes, gunfire at the border--seems confined to perps and an ICE agent. Still--hope everyone's somewhere else today?

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