Regional
10:41 am
Tue August 31, 2010

Juarez Cancels Independence Day Celebration

Juarez, Mexico – For the first time in its history, the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez is cancelling its traditional Sept. 15 celebration of Mexico's Independence from Spain.

Juarez Mayor Jose Reyes said Monday that authorities hadn't received any specific threat surrounding the event. However, he and they decided it would be too dangerous for large crowds to gather in the city, which has become one of the world's most dangerous amid a turf war between the Sinaloa and Juarez cartels.

As in other Mexico cities, residents in Ciudad Juarez gather each year at the main plaza to hear the mayor give the "grito," or shout of independence, at 11 p.m. Reyes said the city would instead launch fireworks at different points in the city so people could celebrate from their own backyards.

The cancellation was especially a blow this year because Mexico is celebrating its bicentennial independence anniversary.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.