MEXICO CITY - Mexicans celebrating an Easter ritual late on Saturday burnt effigies of US Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump, whose anti-immigrant views have sparked outrage south of the American border.
In Mexico City's poor La Merced neighborhood, hundreds of cheering residents yelled "death" and various insults as they watched the explosion of the grinning papier-mâché mock-up of the real estate tycoon, replete with blue blazer, red tie and his trademark tuft of blond hair.
Media reported that Trump effigies burned across Mexico, from Puebla to Mexico's industrial hub Monterrey.
The burning is part of a widespread Mexican Holy Week tradition where neighborhoods burn effigies to represent Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Jesus Christ according to the Bible. The effigies are often modeled on unpopular political figures.
"Since he started his campaign and began talking about immigrants, Mexico, and Mexicans, I said 'I've got to get this guy,'" said Felipe Linares, the artisan who crafted Trump and whose family has been making Judases for more than 50 years.
Trump, the front-runner to win the Republican nomination for the Nov. 8 election, has drawn fire in Mexico with his campaign vow to build a wall along the southern US border to keep out illegal immigrants and drugs, and to make Mexico pay for it.
Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto has said his country will not pay for the wall and likened Trump's "strident tone" to the ascent of dictators like Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini.