Citizens in Mexico are currently protesting in massive numbers against the “imposition” of a President-elect from the old-guard PRI party, Enrique Peña Nieto, whose “election” was tainted in recent weeks with reports of widespread fraud and corruption. These protests, rallies and demonstrations are believed to be some of the largest that the world has ever seen.
According to journalist Paul Imison, “The Mexican capital and cities around the country were besieged by peaceful protests all spring as it became clear that the corporate media was trying to impose Peña Nieto as the only choice for president. Out of this fury grew the highly-organized and articulate student-led movement #YoSoy132, which many other organizations have since come out to support.” Following the July 1st presidential election, and a partial recount of the vote that federal officials used to confirm Nieto’s supposed victory (despite ongoing evidence of systemic fraud), the Mexico protests have continued to swell. On July 7, 2012, many thousands of Mexicans joined protests across the country, in over 20 cities including Mexico City, to rally against Nieto with “mega-march” events that highlighted the slogan, “If there’s imposition, there will be revolution…” From the city of London, #YoSoy132 solidarity activists released the following video statement to the international community:
And the rest of the world? While messages of solidarity with the #YoSoy132 movement are being broadcast by grassroots US activists, including immigrants in Los Angeles, Austin, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Las Vegas, New York City, Phoenix, San Diego, San Francisco, and Washington DC; Occupy Santa Rosa; and participants at the Occupy National Gathering in Philadelphia [see photos above and below], the corporate media and foreign leaders have been largely oblivious. “Much of the international media presumes Enrique Peña Nieto is the president-elect. Barack Obama called Peña on Monday to congratulate him. The western corporate media – whose governments have massive economic interests in Mexico – have been only marginally critical of the PRI’s clear-as-day attempt to re-impose itself in power by foul play. Compare this to the widespread condemnation by the US and its allies of dodgy-or-not elections in countries like Russia, Iran, Venezuela and Nicaragua,” says Imison.
What will happen next in Mexico is anyone’s guess, but it is clear that this story is still developing and far from over. Left-wing presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the victim of the alleged electoral fraud, has stated that he’ll pursue complaints against vote-buying and campaign spending violations through legal means. And on the streets of Mexico, the mass protests show no signs of slowing down, with some supporters arguing that the movement should focus on the institutional reform of biased right-wing-leaning TV media corporations. “I think I only saw two banners of AMLO [Obrador] in the big march,” tweeted one young Mexico City resident. “This goes far beyond a candidate.” Please visit the Think Mexican blog to see photos, tweets, and video from the July 7, 2012 “mega-march” demonstrations across Mexico, plus further updates. As indignant Mexicans call for global support for their struggle for not only real democracy but also proactive solutions to the devastating Drug War, it is incumbent upon citizens of the world to show that we notice and care! The stakes are high: As stated by Foreign Policy Magazine, “everything we know about [Peña Nieto] suggests that he will bring back the worst traditions of opacity, corruption, and intolerance.”
Al Jazeera English video report on Mexico’s electoral protests and fraud: