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Mexico's Sarah Palin? Monterrey Mayor Turns Over City to God, Stirs Debate

Tracy Wilkinson - The Los Angeles Times
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June 11, 2013
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Mayor Margarita Arellanes, speaking in Spanish at a weekend rally, tells the crowd that she is entrusting her northern Mexico city of Monterrey to God. (doblefilomx)

MEXICO CITY - She rose to the podium and cast her eyes skyward. The mayor of Monterrey then entrusted her Mexican city to God and Jesus Christ as the crowd around her cheered.

“I open the doors of this city to God as the maximum authority,” Mayor Margarita Arellanes said. “I recognize that without his presence and his help, we cannot have real success.”

Whether a sign of desperation for how dire things are in northern Mexico, which is plagued by drug violence, or simply a profession of faith, Arellanes’ weekend speech has rankled many in this country where the separation of church and state is a founding principle - one that helped spark a violent uprising a century ago.

One columnist called her the new Mexican Sarah Palin - alluding, he explained, to a relatively inexperienced politician who isn’t shy about wearing her religion on her sleeve, like the former U.S. vice presidential candidate.

Leftist congressmen in Mexico City suggested Arellanes should be investigated and maybe even brought up on charges. A host of academics and legal experts quickly listed the articles of the Mexican Constitution that she may have violated. Even some from her own conservative National Action Party (PAN) complained, but perhaps because her pious pledge came at an event organized by evangelical churches, not Roman Catholic ones.

“She should have been more careful,” said PAN Sen. Luisa Maria Calderon, sister to former President Felipe Calderon.

Read the rest at The Los Angeles Times

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