Thousands protest Mexico’s president-elect
July 7, 2012
Tens of thousands of demonstrators marched through Mexico City Saturday against the presidential election win of Enrique Pena Nieto, accusing him and his party of widespread vote-buying.
The marchers claim Pena Nieto, from the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), “bought” his way to victory by handing out gift cards and securing paid favorable media coverage from the country’s two main TV networks.
“Out Pena, Mexico without the PRI!” the protesters chanted as the massive crowd made its way down the Paseo de la Reforma — a main thoroughfare in the capital — to the Zocalo, the city’s giant downtown square.
Mexico’s independent election authority on Friday ratified Pena Nieto’s victory in the July 1 vote, saying he bested his nearest opponent, leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, by more than six percentage points.
But many in this country of 112 million have refused to accept Pena Nieto’s victory, which marks the return to power of the PRI — the party that ruled for seven decades until 2000, amid accusations of rigged elections and repression.
“We would look really bad if Pena Nieto would take office and we did nothing,” said Mara Soto, a 21 year-old student at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).