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’Repugnant’ Taco Company Cashes in on Mexico’s Historic Child Heroes

David Agren - The Guardian
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September 13, 2017

Every year, Mexicans pay solemn tribute to los Niños Heroes – six boy soldiers who disobeyed orders to retreat as enemy soldiers advanced during the country’s 1847 war with the US.

One of the boys, Juan Escutia, is said to have wrapped himself in the Mexican flag and thrown himself from the ramparts of the Chapultepec Castle to prevent the colours from falling into American hands.

This year, however, a row has erupted on the 170th anniversary of the battle, after a chain of fastfood stands used the event to promote its products, with the slogan “throw yourself at some tacos!”

“There are still heroes among us,” said the advert by the Taquearte chain, which portrayed the boy soldiers as fast-food employees.

Most historians now argue that the tale of the Niños Heroes is mostly myth, but even so, the advertising campaign provoked a furious response from those who accused the chain of belittling a key moment in Mexico’s national story.

“Because defending your country from an invasion by the United States is the same as making some greasy tacos. Repugnant your publicity,” read one response to Taquearte’s Twitter account.

“This ad is distasteful because it uses images of the Boy Heroes who were defending the country and trivializes their fight,” said Rodolfo Soriano-Nuñez, a sociologist.

Streets and public schools across the country are named for the Niños Heroes, monuments stand in their honour and their image used to appear on the country’s currency. But the story of the Niños Heroes story has started to lose some of its relevance for younger Mexicans, Soriano-Nuñez said.

Read the rest at The Guardian

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