Mexico City has been invaded by peace loving clowns.
Coming from all over Latin America, they were in town for the 18th Annual Clown Convention. Though their business may be laughs, they had a serious message.
Chanting “No to violence, Yes to peace”, they wanted to disassociate themselves from a man who allegedly killed a drug baron dressed as a clown. Mexico has seen 600,000 deaths due to drug-related violence in the last seven years.
“We want peace since there is so much violence on this side (of Mexico),” says one clown, “we know how the situation is right now. We want a little bit of peace. We spread happiness, laughter, smiles. That’s why we’re clowns.”
Clowns are an integral part to life in Mexico, with around 10,000 registered with the Latin American Clown Association. They can often be seen performing in the street to earn a living, but it’s a tough life. The convention will see a series of workshops to help them hone their craft. One clown explains the importance of getting together every year.
“To train ourselves better so that there’ll be work. Fortunately, us clowns that are trained are not worried about that. We don’t suffer a lot like the majority of the society. We will start dying from hunger when there are no children left.”
Their clowning around culminated in a fifteen minute-long laugh-a-thon in the centre of the city.