Alder criticizes downtown Mexican Independence Day celebrations: ‘This is not who we are’

Ald. Raymond Lopez
Ald. Raymond Lopez (center) looks on during a Mexican Independence Day celebration at Irene Hernandez Middle School. Photo credit Ald. Raymond Lopez

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) — Some Chicago elected officials condemned this weekend's Mexican Independence Day festivities in the Loop, which caused the city to shut down large parts of the area.

“This is not who we are,” Ald. Raymond Lopez (15th) told WBBM on Sunday.

Lopez said he was sickened and disheartened to see what he described as “illegal street takeovers” along Michigan Avenue and other parts of the city.

Thousands gathered in car caravans as they flew Mexican flags, cheered and honked their horns.

“We have now returned back to organized celebrations of Mexican independence and heritage and culture, but the reluctance to let go of the caravans, to continue acting like fools on the street — causing mayhem and chaos everywhere they go — must come to an end,” said the alderman.

WBBM reached out to the Mexican Cultural Committee of Chicago for comment on the weekend's celebrations.

He added that the city needs to be more aggressive in addressing situations like these.

“Ticketing, impounding vehicles and the like because people are not safe,” Lopez said. “Garbage and debris are left in their wake, and we really need to get back to celebrating our culture in true Mexican fashion. Not this organized madness we see playing out year after year.”

Lopez wasn't alone in criticizing the weekend's events. Ald. Silvana Tabares (23rd) took to X, formerly known as Twitter, on Sunday morning and called the holiday “officially a black eye for the Chi-Mexican community.”

“The last two nights have been vile, ignorant and embarrassing,” Tabares wrote. “[Thank you] to 8th District, Streets and [Sanitation] and [volunteers] for attacking the cleanup.”

Listen to our new podcast Looped In: Chicago
Listen to WBBM Newsradio now on Audacy!
Sign up and follow WBBM Newsradio
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Featured Image Photo Credit: Ald. Raymond Lopez