University students stand up against “the soap opera democracy” [In Spanish]

El País, 5/24/2012

Nobody expected that an actor other than violence or organized crime would come in the way of the PRI electoral campaign. This new actor is a protest movement led by university students. While it emerged from thin air it has now grown exponentially and keeps becoming reinforced by social media. Its strength was demonstrated Wednesday as it brought together thousands of young Mexicans at the center of the Mexican capital (a total of 15,000 students according to the Secretary of Public Security of the Federal District).

It is perhaps too soon to determine whether this protest will change the results of the upcoming election.

The students met at 6 o’clock at the Estela de Luz, a monument that was constructed to commemorate the bicentennial of the Mexican Independence but is now considered an emblem that rather represents ineffectiveness and corruption given the high costs involved in its construction. The group “Yo Soy 132” (in reference to the 131 students who protested against Peña Nieto at the Universidad Iberoamericana) were present. Students from other private universities joined the protest as well.

In theory, this protest was not targeted against anybody as it only wanted to demand “an electoral process that is transparent and clear, a conscious and informed vote and democratization of the media.” In fact, most of the posters in the protest contained messages against Televisa, the television company with the largest audience and who misinterpreted the recent incident at the Universidad Iberoamericana to much discontent of its students. Some students, however, held posters with message that attacked Peña Nieto directly.

Read more…

View photo gallery of the protest here.


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