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With one week until the Mexican presidential elections, thousands of people turned out for the third large march against Enrique Peña Nieto, candidate for the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). Protesters carrying signs, beating drums, and chanting “Fuera Peña” marched from Mexico City’s Zocalo down Reforma Avenue to the Angel of Independence June 24. The demonstration was organized by the student movement “Yo Soy 132” and other pro-democracy and human rights organizations.

“We are here because we want to stop the candidate from the PRI party. We just don’t want him to get to the presidency. He did nothing for the state he was governing a few years ago, he left the state in debt,” said Rafael, a protester from the State of Mexico, where Peña Nieto was governor from 2005 to 2011.

“And I don’t know if you heard about Atenco, but that is one of the main reasons we don’t want him to get to the presidency.” Hundreds of protesters carried signs referring to the violent confrontations  between citizens and federal police in 2006 in the city of San Salvador Atenco in the State of Mexico, where two young people were killed. The contingents of students and youth chanted, “Por qué, por qué, por qué nos asesinan, si somos la esperanza de América Latina!” (Why, why, why do they murder us if, we are the hope of Latin America!)

Marcia Pacheco, painted purple and carrying a purple banner, marched with dozens of students with The Feminist Anti-Peña Nieto Student Faction.  She said they were marching “in memory of the 922 women who were raped, tortured and murdered during the government of Peña Nieto.” She said the faction is protesting the “impunity and indifference” that allows violence against women to increase in the State of Mexico and in Mexico in general.  “Our repugnance against Pena Nieto is because of the systematic abuse of human rights. That’s why we are here.”

Most polls still show Peña Nieto with at least a 10-point lead over Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD).  Other polls show that people have little faith in the polls and accusations of bias have been common.

Some protesters said they were not there to support any political party, but to support democracy and human rights.

“It seems unthinkable that first this guy with a track record of human rights violations is a candidate…he is the worst of the PRI. The other parties aren’t the solution to Mexico’s problems either, but we can at least put a barrier against this guy if we want to change the conditions from the bottom up,” said Carmen from Guadalajara. “I am very happy to see so many organized people, so many people in the streets–this is true democracy.”

By law, all campaigning and publicity must end on Thursday. The student group plans a candlelight pro-democracy vigil for Saturday night, the night before Election Day July 1.

1 Comment

  • Joseph J. García
    Posted June 27, 2012 12:02 am 0Likes

    Following the U.S. model (a-historical) Peña-Nieto is the attractive (Hollywood fantasy) candidate with no depth or depth perception at that! He is walking on a precipice and not wanting to look down. But the situation is that the U.S. will not allow the left to rise to power in México. The 1988 Cårdenas election fraud, the AMLO fraud of 2006, proves this. But, the country must go through a return of the PRI so that it also rises to the occasion and serves the U.S. military-prison-industrial complex to its demise. As James D. Cockcroft describes in his book México’s Revolution Then and Now, and as the protesters know, the killings and other forms of societal torture is a systematic political oppression against the Mexican people. The U.S. and the Oligarchy of México know that the Mexican society is not like that of the U.S. – docile, and so much like the rest of Latin America extreme measures must be taken and great lengths taken to utterly control every major sector of influence and power. This especially means the Mexican media that mimics the U.S. media domination. And this is where it is possibly an important factor, México will reach the day, much like in South America where the media will loose finally legitimacy on a grand scale. Let’s hope it happens in the next two weeks and something different happens. Otherwise, we wait, and let the PRI destroy itself, much like the PAN has! Being optimistic, it is possibly the need for a radical transition to democratization of México which may be in store?

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