It was said that sixty per cent of the military was there, marching and looking stern and occasionally smiling and waving when their superior officers weren’t looking. At least four-and-a-half thousand troops were missing, however, stationed thousands of kilometres away on the US-Mexico border, the frontline of Felipe Calderón’s war on the drug cartels and one of the most dangerous places in the world. It may seem a large number, four-and-a-half thousand, but apparently not even that many troops were enough to prevent the shooting murder at a quarter-past-two of a twenty-one-year-old photojournalist named Luis Carlos Santiago Orozco. Santiago had only been working at his paper, El Diario de Juárez, for two weeks, and many now believe he may have been the victim of a case of mistaken identity. By a quarter-past-two in Ciudad de México, the military parade was more or less over, and a far less interesting procession of caballeros had started making its way up el Paseo de la Reforma. The hundreds of children sitting along the curb, so excited earlier at the site of face-painted commandos and shiny-shoed cadets, were, like the rest of us, fast losing interest. Santiago died a short time later.
Words by Matthew Clayfield / Photos by Austin Andrews