The Guadalajara International Book Fair, or FIL, opened Saturday in Mexico protected by powerful security measures unlike any seen in previous years, and with Israel as the guest-of-honor country.
Due to the presence of Israeli President Simon Peres, a vast security force was deployed around Expo Guadalajara and neighboring hotels, with some streets closed and vehicles being inspected as they entered two of the principal hotels.
Inside the book fair are areas of exclusive access for guests at the inauguration, and with exhaustive searches at the main entrance in the hands of a private security firm.
Outside Expo Guadalajara, where on Saturday the 27th FIL opened, are soldiers on guard duty, at least one armored car and a security force the likes of which was never seen here before.
Yet with all that, the FIL had an air of normality about it at the beginning of the biggest Spanish-language book fair to be held this year.
After the inauguration, during which the poet Yves Bonnefoy was to be awarded the 2013 FIL Prize for Literature in Romance Languages, Nobel laureate Mario Vargas Llosa, recently arrived in Guadalajara, was scheduled to present his latest novel, “El Hombre Discreto,” on the same afternoon.
Also to be inaugurated was the Israel Pavilion, a ceremony in the presence of the Israeli president and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Simon Peres.
Later, Peres and former Spanish President Felipe Gonzalez will take part in a dialogue moderated by Mexican historian Enrique Krauze.