MEXICO CITY — The TV reporter stood in a power stance, his back to the U.S. Embassy and the 10 riot police resting on their escutcheons, and pronounced this a major day for Mexico.
“Donald Trump is wildly unpopular in Mexico, where today is being seen as a real turn for the worse in the country’s fortunes,” he said loud enough in English that people were stopping on the sidewalk to watch.
And maybe it will be. The Mexican protest machine, though, was slow to rise on this nearly cloudless Friday morning in Mexico City.
Across the street, where Julia Klug, 46, wearing what appeared to be a homemade American-flag jumpsuit and matching scout cap, was holding a “United States extermination camp against Latinos” sign with President Trump’s name below a swastika, cameramen outnumbered protesters at least 3 to 1.
On the steps of the Angel of Independence statue in the middle of the traffic circle, the people who had put a Trump head on a stake had to share space with the hunger strikers who were opposed to the rise in gasoline prices.
Some passersby stopped to listen to the man with the megaphone in front of the “In the name of humanity we refuse to accept an American fascist” banner, but others seemed just as interested in the black and white photographs of the Beatles and Cantinflas being sold on the pavement.
For Mexico, it’s been a long and wearying year of Donald Trump. And Arturo Gracia Mayen, getting his shoes shined next to the riot officers, saw no reason to be optimistic about the one to come.
“He’s seen as a Hitler type, because he wants to close the borders to jobs and progress. He doesn’t want to cooperate with Mexicans,” said Gracia, a 49-year-old lawyer. “If American companies leave, we have to open ourselves to the Asian economies. To look for new horizons.”