In Protests and Online, a Youth Movement Seeks to Sway Mexico’s Election
Bruno Gonzalez/Associated Press
Tens of thousands of students, angry at Mexico’s entrenched political powers, have taken to the streets in the last month, spreading their message with viral videos and organizing themselves using a Twitter hashtag: #yosoy132.
On Sunday, more protests popped up around the country as the presidential candidates gathered in Guadalajara for the second and last scheduled debate before the election on July 1. The debate, which was covered by my colleague Randal C. Archibold, was televised on all of Mexico’s major networks, in part, to meet a demand the students made.
What impact can it have on the presidential elections, on Mexico generally, and where do the comparisons to the Arab Spring, which toppled and threatened regimes, begin and end?
These questions are being widely discussed across Mexico and among Mexican-Americans since May 11 when online and offline protests grew out a contentious visit at Ibero American University by Enrique Peña Nieto, the front-runner in Mexico’s presidential election.
Chanting they did not want him at their school, the students interrupted his speech, attacking his poor human rights record as governor of Mexico State.
Then, responding three days later to the widely reported claim that the campus demonstration was organized by outside agitators, they took their campaign online with a video that went viral, showing 131 students, many displaying their student IDS; all explaining why they, not outsiders, felt the need to shout down Mr. Peña.
It was not just a matter of his recent record. Mr. Peña is the telegenic new face of the old authoritarian Institutional Revolutionary Party, also known as PRI, which ran Mexico for 71 years before it was ousted in
You can read the rest of this article at:: http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/11/in-protests-and-online-the-yosoy132-movement-seeks-to-sway-mexicos-election/
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