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600,000 Catholics Re-enact Stations of the Cross in Mexico City

Actors take part in the recreation of the Passion of Christ at the Iztapalapa neighborhood, eastern Mexico City, on April 15, 2022 during the Good Friday procession.

About 600,000 Catholics took part on Friday in a re-enactment of the Holy Week Stations of the Cross in Mexico City's popular neighborhood of Iztapalapa, which had been suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"There are 600,000 people," Claudia Sheinbaum, mayor of Mexico City, who celebrated the 179th anniversary of the tradition this year, told reporters.

"Since I was a child, my father brought us … for me it is a satisfaction" to come back to attend the religious representation, said Susana Montaño, 63.

"I felt sadness … like traditional things were getting lost," she added of the health restrictions that kept her from attending the flamboyant Passion of Christ in 2021.

About 100 people, including actors and musicians, took part in the Catholic staging.

Carrying photos of their loved ones, parishioners made their way through the crowd to catch a glimpse of the actors.

Iztapalapa has recorded 8,847 deaths from the pandemic. The actors, who have been preparing for a year, had to present a negative test for COVID-19 to participate.

Nearly 324,000 people have died from COVID-19 in Mexico since the pandemic began, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.