Mexico: more protests planned against ‘imposition’

Thousands of people marched in Mexico City on July 22 to protest what they called the “imposition” of Enrique Peña Nieto, the official winner in the July 1 presidential election, and his party, the centrist Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). Signs and chants emphasized claims that Peña Nieto, the former governor of México state, had won the presidency through fraud, vote buying and biased coverage from the mainstream media, especially the giant television network Televisa, which demonstrators called a “lie factory.”

The authorities didn’t give a crowd estimate, but the Associated Press (AP) wire service reported that the July 22 march was smaller than a similar march on July 7, which the wire service said drew a crowd of 50,000. The reporter suggested that the movement was weakening. (AP, July 22, via El Carabobeño, Caracas)

The march was one of a series of events planned on July 15 in a gathering of at least 300 organizations in San Salvador Atenco, a town northeast of Mexico City in México state. The first “National Convention Against Imposition” brought together a broad range of student, labor and campesino groups with other social organizations. Participants included the newly formed #YoSoy132 (“I’m number 132”) student movement; the militant Mexican Electrical Workers Union (SME); the National Education Workers Coordinating Committee (CNTE), a large rank-and-file caucus in the teachers’ union; and the Front of the Peoples in Defense of the Land (FPDT), a campesino community organization based in Atenco. FPDT and Atenco were subjected to brutal repression by México state police in May 2006, during Peña Nieto’s term as governor.

The convention decided on a plan of action that includes a protest against Televisa on July 27; a national civic strike on Aug. 8; an SME-sponsored mobilization in Mexico City on Aug. 11; a second convention on Sept. 22-23, to be held in Oaxaca; and a series of actions from Nov. 20, when Mexico officially marks the anniversary of the start of the 1910 Revolution, to Dec. 1, the day the new president is to be inaugurated. (La Jornada, Mexico, July 16)

From Weekly News Update on the Americas, July 22.

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