Saturday 2 February 2013

Forget the Ikea Monkey. How about the Veracruz Lion?

Pérez Moreno: the trainer or the clown?

A lioness, owned by a local deputy in the state of Veracruz, Mexico, escaped yesterday in the vicinity of Xalapa, the state capital, which generated a large mobilization of local police and auxiliaries.

After looking for the animal throughout the afternoon, she was found in a warehouse, whereupon Roberto Pérez Moreno “Juanelo”, a state legislator with the ruling PRI party, arrived and announced that he would take care of her.

The incident occurred around 14:00 pm yesterday in the community of El Grande in municipality of Coatepec, on the outskirts of the capital. The state of Veracruz lines the Gulf of Mexico, but the Xalapa area is inland and at an elevation of approximately 5,000 feet (1500 meters).

The Secretary of Public Safety (Secretaría de Seguridad Pública) as well as municipal police scurried to warn people to stay indoors with their doors and windows closed.

It wasn’t until 17:00 that the Ministry of Civil Defence (Secretaría de Protección Civil) announced that the big cat had had been located near a winery in the community El Grande. This is when the politician arrived and said he would “take care of the situation”.

The animal had escaped from the legislator's residence in Coatepec. Pérez, who is aiming to be mayor of Ocotepec, thanked the local authorities for their help. There is no word of any charges being laid against him for endangering public safety.

But he hasn’t been treated too kindly on social media. Facebook users have shared pictures of Pérez’s mistreatment of bulls during public festivals, and suggested that perhaps he should prove his bravery by taking a turn in the ring with his “pet”.

One anonymous user wrote: "In case anyone doubted that the legislature is a fucking circus, now we know who the trainer is."

(TE Wilson is the author of Mezcalero, a Detective Sánchez novel.)

Mexico has had a string of exotic animal stories in the past month, among them:

(TE Wilson is the author of Mezcalero, a Detective Sánchez novel.)

Twitter: @TimothyEWilson
Email: lapoliticaeslapolitica [at] gmail [dot] com

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