The Mexico City government has granted Intangible Cultural Heritage status to Lucha Libre (pro wrestling), a sport and performance art that has become a colorful tradition throughout the country.
The decree was signed by Jose Ramon Amieva, who became mayor of the city after Miguel Angel Macera's resignation, and the professional wrestler and President of the Lucha Libre Commission of Mexico City "El Hijo del Fantasma" (The Son of the Ghost) in a ceremony on Saturday, July 21, 2018.
"This is an achievement for the government, being able to recognize that Lucha Libre is present in our lives, that the women and men that take part in this culture must be recognized," said Amieva.
The status was granted by the cultural secretary after a petition was submitted by the Wrestler's Commission of Mexico City, where the tradition thrives. The city currently has two Lucha Libre sanctuaries: Arena Mexico and Arena Coliseo, both famous nationwide.
Amieva said the minister of culture will work with El Hijo del Fantasma to build a wrestlers' database in order to include them in social welfare programs; health and employment opportunities, as well as new tourism projects.
The declaration was applied using the international standards of intangible heritage set forth by UNESCO, which includes established "customs, representations, expressions, knowledge and techniques – along with the instruments, objects, artifacts and cultural spaces inherent to it – that communities, groups, and in some cases individuals, recognize as an integral part of their cultural heritage," Amieva explained.
During the ceremony at the Old City Hall, attendees mingled with Mexican political personalities, along with celebrated wrestlers "La Parca" (The Reaper), "El Vampiro Canadiense" (The Canadian Vampire) and "El Acertijo" (The Riddle).
The official declaration was followed by a Lucha Libre show and a concert at Mexico City's largest plaza, El Zocalo.
Lucha Libre didn't originate in Mexico. In 1863, Enrique Ugartechea, the first Mexican wrestler, invented Mexico's Lucha Libre based on Greco-Roman wrestling. It was then adopted by classic characters such as the legendary "El Santo" and "Blue Demon," both of whom have starred in several films and enjoy celebrity status.Original article