Jocotepec patron saint festivities continued despite new state mandate
The 12-day “Señor del Monte” Festival began January 6, but was not halted when new health orders took effect banning large events.
An average of four thousand people participated in the Eclectic Fest 3.0 alone on Monday, January 10. Photo: Courtesy.
Héctor Ruiz Mejía – Despite the increase in the positivity rate from 7.2 percent to 23.4 percent in Jalisco for the coronavirus, the municipality of Jocotepec decided to continue with the festivities for the “Señor del Monte.”
Even though the Health Ministry and the Governor of Jalisco, Enrique Alfaro Ramírez, announced new health measures effective on January 14, in which all types of events such as patron saint festivities, carnivals and massive events were canceled, Jocotepec decided not to cancel the ongoing festivities. «I cannot cancel the entire economy. The decree indicates a start date and it must be an individual choice to attend or not,» said José Miguel Gómez López.
The municipal president explained that the new health measures were announced when the festivities were already well underway. The festival began on January 6th with the “Entrada de Cera” parade, so the festivities were allowed to continue.
«Two years ago when the pandemic started, people did not know how to take care of themselves. Today, the population is aware of the correct safety measures. They already have all the knowledge necessary to protect themselves and can take individual responsibility for whether to go out or not,” added Gómez.
The President of Jocotepec said that it would have been worse to cancel the business generated by the festivities. Photo: Héctor Ruiz.
On Tuesday, January 11, the Civil Protection and Firefighters Unit (UPCB) of Jocotepec, in conjunction with municipal authorities, reported that at least 30 percent of the merchants did not abide by the appropriate safety measures.
«The incidents that persisted the most, where participants were given a warning to comply with the measures, was in the use of masks and antibacterial gel,» explained municipal authorities.
They also explained that skepticism regarding the use of masks and the pandemic itself was prevalent among the elderly, who are one of the segments of the population most vulnerable to the disease.
The municipal president condemned accusations against him for being negligent and irresponsible for allowing the festivities to continue. He pointed out that the municipality has taken all possible measures to safeguard the well-being of the inhabitants of Jocotepec. However, “it is the people who can voluntarily decide to respect the measures or not,” he said.
Translated by Colleen Beery and Kerry Watson
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