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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Footballer-turned-mayor stages hunger strike in Cuernavaca cathedral

A former Mexican footballer, now mayor of the city of Cuernavaca, staged a hunger strike in atrium of the city’s centuries-old cathedral to stave off attempts at ousting him from office.

Cuauhtemoc Blanco started the hunger strike on 17th December, two days after the Morelos state legislature impeached him, alleging he did not meet the residency requirements to serve as mayor.

A member of Mexico’s Supreme Court issued an injunction on 18th December, prompting Blanco to end his hunger strike, though not after winning national and international attention.

Blanco stayed in the cathedral atrium with the permission of the Bishop of Cuernavaca, Ramon Castro Castro who, like the mayor, has found himself at odds with Morelos Gov. Graco Ramirez, a self-described member of the “progressive left,” whom members of social movements accuse of stifling dissent.

Ramirez has previously expressed public enmity for Bishop Castro, who has courted government criticism for organising an annual peace march in Morelos, an often-insecure state with territory disputed by drug cartels and organised crime just to the south of Mexico.

The bishop did not comment on Blanco’s hunger strike but prayed for peace in Morelos during Mass on 18th December, according to media reports.

Picture: Cuauhtemoc Blanco, a former Mexican footballer, now mayor of Cuernavaca, begins a hunger strike on 17th December to stave off attempts at ousting him from office. A member of Mexico’s Supreme Court issued an injunction on 18th December, prompting Blanco to lift his hunger strike, though not before winning national and international attention. (CNS photo/Tony Rivera, EPA).