Mexicans Protest PRI Victory


Thousands upon thousands of protesters gathered together on Saturday in Mexico City to denounce the recent presidential victory of Enrique Peña Nieto. The president-elect is part of the PRI, or Institutional Revolutionary Party, which ran Mexico for almost the entirety of the twentieth century.

The Examiner’s Beatriz Schiava provides perhaps the most succinct explanation as to why so many Mexicans are upset at the recent PRI victory:

The PRI, the “official” party that controlled the country for more than seven decades while submerging the country into corruption, huge inefficient and corrupt government bureaucracy, criminality and poverty is back to power. This presidential campaign is perhaps one of the dirtiest campaigns Mexico has ever seen, and there have been many, perpetrated by the PRI.

Protesters were indeed marching against Peña Nieto in the light of recent allegations over the last three months that he bought off local media to slant coverage in his favor and that he bought votes from citizens with gift cards and presents of groceries. Many people also fear that their vote was tampered with after they submitted their ballot. Marchers held signs aloft that read, “Not another fraud!” the BBC notes.

A student protest movement has been boiling for the last couple of months. The movement, entitled “Yo Soy 132″, began in early June as unrest began to unfold during Peña Nieto’s campaign trail. Students demanded that their voices be heard after Peña Nieto brushed off opposition from students at a speech he gave at a university. Here’s a video from “Yo Soy 132″ that gives an idea of the strength, vibrancy and passion this movement has culled.

Protests in Mexico City have been a regular occurrence leading up to the July 1st elections, which put Peña Nieto at the top of the polls. A recount was instituted last week in the wake of worries over “irregularities” in the polling stations. Peña Nieto remained in the lead, sealing his victory in place by the end of the week.

The runner-up Andres Manuel López Obrador  plans to file a formal legal challenge against Peña Nieto in the coming months accusing the PRI of fraud and buying off media and votes, the Guardian reports. The student movement, López Obrador and even many residents who are not leftists remain aggravated and wary of the hidden agendas of the PRI, demanding transparency in government processes and a rigorous investigation into the latest election.

The PRI and Peña Nieto have maintained complete innocence in the face of every accusation of injustice. Many local newspapers have insisted that there is clear documentation that the president-elect and the PRI bought votes throughout the country. Peña Nieto does not take responsibility for party corruption stating to the New York Times, “I can’t single out my party. In all parties there are regrettable cases that have tarnished the institutions represented by certain actors.”

The victorious and staunch PRI candidate plans to “strengthen the state” through the creation of such agencies as the National Anticorruption Commission. He also states that he wants to increase police presence in rural areas as a means to achieving a “complete rule of law” the New York Times reports.

Sunday’s protest in Mexico City looked to be compiled of a variety of oppositional forces, including supporters of López Obrador, the student movement and concerned citizens. Will protests such as Sunday’s be possible for those who oppose the PRI once it regains power in Mexico?


Related Stories:

Mexican Students Demand Change

Mexican Presidential Votes Recounted

Mexicans Protest Media Bias in Election (Video)


Photo Credit: Tbhotch


Valerie C.
Valerie C6 years ago

I´m not happy that Peña Nieto won, but Lopez Obrador (AMLO) wasn´t the solution either, I think lots of people gave their vote to Peña Nieto, because, they were afraid that a person like AMLO could be the president of Mexico, I agree with Stepahie S, AMLO is mad, doesn´t recognize defeat, he promises changes but he doesn´t know anything about economy and he thinks that only lowering prices of gasoline, giving money to the elderly, single moms, but he doesn´t explain how he is going to obtein that money. AMLO knows how to spread more anger between mexicans, in order to obtain what he wants. THANK GOD he didn´t win!!

Lynn Paterson

All I know for sure is i don`t like him, Nieto,
he is just wrong ! Hes a pretty boy gangster if
I`ve ever seen one !

Jen Matheson
Past Member 6 years ago

They should definirly challenge this win.

Veronica Guerrero

Dear Stephanie, just some clarifications.
It is NOT Lopez Obrador the only one who is signalling the fraud. A lot of citizens, leftist or not, also are conscious of this fraud, and there are a lot of proofs of it. Dirty tricks did not begin on the election day, but long before (with the vote buying and the help of commercial television networks).
Personally, I am not lopezobradorista; but anyway, I have been on demonstrations and protests, as many other people I know. As a matter of fact, the demonstrations have not been called by PRD, but by citizens, students and civil movements.
As for the 2006 elections, the accusation of fraud also had very solid foundations, and what was the outcome? You have stated it very well: a constant violence and the rise of crime.
Thank you for reading.

Fred Urbasek
Past Member 6 years ago

Corrupt elections in Mexico/ move along nothing to see here.

Stephanie S.
Stephanie S6 years ago

As a Mexican citizen who voted in these elections, I have to say, I know that the PRI has done many terrible things involving buying votes and stuff in the past. Still, the ruckus made over this is getting quite ridiculous! Lopez Obrador is just messing up everybody's lives by insisting that there was fraud. Every single party did everything they could (legally and illegally) to get votes, and pretending that the PRD was completely innocent of this is ridiculous. Either way, the PRI would have won. Lopez Obrador just cannot accept defeat. He did exactly the same thing six years ago when Calderón won. He's just a crazed madman, and has to know that he didn't win.
It was obvious that Peña Nieto would win anyway. After six years of the Drug War which the PAN President started, people have become tired of the constant violence. They decided to go back to the PRI. Even if times were hard then, at least there was less violence. And honestly, although Lopez Obrador has many supporters, the people have to learn to accept that Peña Nieto won already. There's no use crying over spilt milk. If you didn't want him to win, you should have gone out and voted, or volunteered to work in the voting stations. A good friend of mine worked in one of those, and she said that when she went around trying to recruit people, they'd shut the door in her face. We cannot combat corruption without all of us lending a hand. Mexicans, if we want to change the country,

Devon N.
Devon N6 years ago

Folks, I hate to say this, but if you think that this cannot happen here, you are living in a fool's paradise. What you are seeing in Mexico is exactly what is happening here: buying the media to slant reporting (FOX, CNN); buying votes with false promises of jobs; suppressing votes through fraudulent voter purges and legal Voter ID laws; and you can be sure that electronic voting and voting by mail efforts will be seriously compromised in November. The GOP is using all these tactics across this nation, aided and abetted by Citizens United and the Koch Brothers ALEC, and unless people protest loud and long between now and Election Day, we will get the exact same kind of fraudulent election they are getting Mexico. Do not think for one minute that we are any better here than in Mexico and get out and vote and then challenge any questionable results any way you can in November. It is the only way we can save our democracy!

J.L. A.
JL A6 years ago

hopefully this does not bode a return to their historical policies that did not work for the citizens...

irene fernandez
irene Fernandez6 years ago

The only good thing to come out of this are the demonstrations, in the past everybody would just fold up their arms and say they weren´t surprised by the results - even if they where sure it was a corrupted election. Mexicans are tired of being taken advantage of. PRD and PAN say they will present joint evidence of corruption, let´s see if they do AND even if the results don´t change there are more people watching and making sure the PRI is accountable for all the mexicans that make up our nation.
I don´t care for politics but the party I wished less in power was PRI and they "won" with very little over 30% of the vote - and that is considering that just 60% of the population voted (or where able to vote) so there is a tough road ahead. Many changes need to be done to the system and there is more work to be done by citizens.

Sarah Mumford
S M6 years ago

I tend to agree with both Troy G and Daphne R.