Mexicans blocked border crossings, thronged city streets and shunned US-owned stores and restaurant chains in "A Day Without Gringos," supporting rallies across the US demanding immigration reform.
The spillover effect from protests and boycotts in the US was tough to measure south of the border on Monday because May 1 is a holiday that closes schools, as well as many businesses and offices.
But major US chains like Wal-Mart, McDonald's and Burger King were open -- and, while some locals stayed way, they were far from deserted in Mexico City.
Shopping at Wal-Mart, 28-year-old salesman Juan Ortiz said he supported legalizing migrants, but didn't think it was practical to boycott US goods.
"You have to buy what is least expensive here, and I have to buy things for my family," he said.
In the border city of Tijuana, across from San Diego, about 400 boycott supporters blocked half the access lanes to an international bridge to discourage Mexicans from crossing into the US to shop.
In another border city, Nuevo Laredo, protesters blocked a bridge over the Rio Grande into Texas for a few hours.
Far more visible, however, were the protests of thousands of unionized workers, who dedicated annual May 1 marches to immigration, carrying banners that read "Total Support for Migrants."
"Legalization for all migrants. We are going for the legalization of all in the US," said marcher Ada Omana, who lives in Chicago and serves as migrant-affairs secretary for the leftist Democratic Revolution Party.
"Legalization is not a prize, it's a recognition of our work," she said.
The protests coincided with a "Day Without Immigrants" in the US, where hundreds of thousands of mostly Hispanic immigrants skipped work and took to the streets.
Some in Mexico saw the marches as the beginning of a new, cross-border Latino movement.
"This is a great revolution of the bronze race, the brown race," Marti Batres, Democratic Revolution's Mexico City director, told a rally. "Our nation goes beyond the Rio Bravo [Rio Grande]," he said, noting that half of Mexico's territory became the western US.
Masked Zapatista rebel leader Subcomandante Marcos told a rally of about 2,000 supporters outside the US Embassy that immigrants in the US are "fighting in the belly of the beast."
"As Zapatistas, we support the boycott of all the US products that have proliferated in Mexico," he said, vowing to "expel from our land all the rich and powerful ... including, of course, US capitalists."
The Zapatistas led a brief armed uprising in 1994 in the southern state of Chiapas to demand greater Indian rights, and have since been locked in an uneasy truce with the government.
Federal officials tried to distance themselves from the events. Still, Roberto Madrazo, one of three major candidates vying to replace outgoing President Vicente Fox in elections July 2, promised not to buy any product with US roots.
At least a half-dozen state governors also endorsed the boycott of US companies.
Pro-immigration rallies were also held throughout Central America. In Honduras, union members boycotted US soft drinks and fast food.
LOST AT SEA: Survivors of a sunken Cambodian ship said they floated for two days in open waters, while a UN official said that traffickers might continue undeterred Chinese survivors from a boat that sank near a Cambodian island, killing three people and leaving eight missing, said they embarked on what they believed would be a short-term fishing job and ended up without food and water aboard the vessel, and their belongings were taken away. Cambodian authorities said on Friday they rescued 21 people one day after the boat small wooden fishing vessel sank near Koh Tang, a Cambodian island close to the maritime border with Vietnam. Nine more people were rescued by the Vietnamese and three bodies were recovered by Cambodia, leaving eight people still missing, Preah Sihanouk provincial
SOUTH CHINA SEA: Despite differences on some matters, Marcos has pledged to foster closer ties with China, calling the relationship ‘advantageous’ to both nations The Philippines is interested in renewing talks with China on joint oil and gas exploration in the South China Sea to expand and diversify its sources of energy, Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr said in an interview. The Southeast Asian country seeks a compromise with China, which is claiming parts of the South China Sea that are within Philippine territory, Marcos said, stressing that any agreement must not contravene his nation’s laws. While the Philippines and China could not agree on which nation’s law would apply, “we continue to explore, perhaps there can be other ways that we can do it,” Marcos
Prominent Chinese commentator Hu Xijin (胡錫進) on Sunday said that as China ponders its COVID-19 policies, epidemic experts need to speak out and China ought to conduct comprehensive research and make any studies transparent to the public. Hu’s unusual call on Chinese social media for candor and transparency earned him 34,000 likes on the popular Sina Weibo microblogging platform, as well as frank responses from commentators in a normally tightly policed Internet quick to censor voices deemed a risk to social stability. China’s top leaders warned in May amid the COVID-19 lockdown of Shanghai and widespread restrictions in the Chinese capital, Beijing,
Standing in line to try to buy food, Rekha Begum is distraught. Like many others in Bangladesh, she is struggling to find affordable daily essentials such as rice, lentils and onions. “I went to two other places, but they told me they don’t have supplies. Then I came here and stood at the end of the queue,” said Begum, 60, as she waited for nearly two hours to buy what she needed from a truck selling food at subsidized prices in the capital, Dhaka. Bangladesh’s economic miracle is under severe strain, as fuel price hikes amplify public frustrations over rising costs for