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Casualties Reported in Mexico Protests as Nieto Inaugurated

The 'struggle is just beginning,' protesters say

by
Common Dreams staff

Mexico's outgoing President Felipe Calderon, left, hands the national flag to Mexico's new President Enrique Pena Nieto during a midnight handover ceremony at the Palacio Nacional in Mexico City on Saturday. (Photo: Reuters)

Protesters demonstrated outside of Mexico's congress Saturday ahead of Enrique Pena Nieto's presidential inauguration, while police responded with tear gas. Reports from the ground are saying police have used rubber bullets on the crowds.

At least two protesters were injured as police and protesters traded blows. Protesters hurled objects and Molotov cocktails outside the congress, which has been surrounded by metal barricades in anticipation of the protests, and police responded with force.

Meanwhile, inside congress several lawmakers held up protest signs against Nieto. One read, "Pena Nieto president of the teleprompter."

Pena Nieto's presidency hails the return of the authoritarian Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), which ruled Mexico for 71 years until 2000.

Nieto's campaign was shrouded in accusations of corruption, spawning a national student protest movement labeled Yo Soy 132.

"They have imposed an illegitimate president. There's lots of us here, this struggle is just beginning," Frida, a 16-year-old student, told Reuters.

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