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Tens of Thousands March in Mexico Against Right's President-Elect

Accusations of vote-buying fuel ongoing anger among students, unionists, and leftists

Common Dreams staff
Demonstrators shout slogans as they gather at the Zocalo Plaza in Mexico City on Saturday.

Demonstrators shout slogans as they gather at the Zocalo Plaza in Mexico City on Saturday. (Marco Ugarte/AP)

Tens of thousands of students, unionists, leftists and angered citizens marched in Mexico's capital on Saturday to protest Enrique Pena Nieto's apparent win in the country's presidential election, accusing his PRI party of vote-rigging, fraud, and corruption.

Some marching carried signs reading: "Peña, how much did it cost to become president?" and "Mexico, you pawned your future for 500 pesos." Peña Nieto's Institutional Revolutionary Party is said to have enticed voters with pre-paid gift cards, free groceries, and other goods in exchange for votes.

"Get out Pena, Mexico without the PRI!" the protesters yelled as the wave of people made its way down the city's main thoroughfare in the capital to the city's giant downtown square.

"The fraud was carried out before (the election), buying votes, tricking the people," said Gabriel Petatan Garcia, a geography student who carried a sign in Finnish. Protesters also carried signs in English, Japanese, French, German and other languages to call the attention of the international press.

Leftist candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of the Democratic Revolution Party, who came in roughly 7% points behind Pena Nieto, said he will file a formal legal complaint against the vote count in the coming days. Neither he nor his party, however, were behind Saturday's march.

The student protest movement in Mexico, best known under the moniker #YoSoy132, has been ongoing since before the elections and emerged following revelations about Pena Nieto's links to the media giant Televisa, saying that both manipulate public opinion to consolidate their own power.

A series of articles in The Guardian added to the controversy by publishing evidence that Televisa paved his path to the presidency by smearing rivals and disguising pro-Peña Nieto propaganda as news.

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