Tens of thousands of Mexicans took to the streets Sunday in protest against media bias in their Presidential elections.
Britain’s Guardian newspaper has unearthed evidence of corruption in how Mexico’s main TV news sources deal with conservative Mexican Presidential candidate Enrique Peña Nieto. He is the candidate of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), which has ruled Mexico for much of the 20th century.
The election is in three weeks with the final debate between Peña Nieto and other candidates also on Sunday. Polls put Peña Nieto more than 10 points ahead of his nearest rival, the leftwing candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador, but that lead has halved from a few weeks ago.
Two commercial TV networks control almost all free television programming in Mexico, particularly the biggest, Televisa. The Guardian’s revelation was of documents suggesting that Televisa sold favorable coverage to Peña Nieto when he was governor of the state of Mexico, and developed a dirty tricks campaign against López Obrador ahead of his first bid for the presidency in 2006. Televisa and the PRI have said that the documents are fake.
Peña Nieto has also been accused of government corruption and illegally funding his campaign
Marches took place all over Mexico and apart from opposition groups, involved thousands of students and young people who mobilized using social media, such as using the Twitter hashtag #YoSoy132. The students have been mobilizing for over a month, protesting both media bias and corruption, but the Guardian’s revelations brought even more onto the streets on Sunday.
The blog Sendero de Fecal said:
The movement means to prevent a presidential candidate from being imposed by the country’s oligarchy and the powers-that-be present in the three branches of government, as well as means to mobilize ourselves in advance in order to respond to likely electoral fraud.
This should not be a movement only for election time, but also a movement that looks to change the country, carry out the demands for justice from the population and move to resolve the grave problems that afflict the country in all sectors that concern Mexican society.
Watch video of one of the marches:
Marcha Anti Peña: 10 de Junio, 2012. Picture by Eneas
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