Sunday, July 8, 2012

Rising protests against Enrique Peña Nieto, amid charges of "Soriana-gate"

MGRR photojournal report -
Anti-PRIstas take the streets, but Mexico's election commission says there's no legal basis to annul the results

Mérida, Yucatán --
As many as 2,000 people took to the streets here early last evening to protest the IFE's (Mexican Federal Electoral Institute's) official confirmation that PRI candidate Enrique Peña Nieto won the 2012 presidential contest. Final vote tabulation was completed yesterday, and showed all the candidates in more or less the same positions reported last week. IFE declared that Peña Nieto's margin of victory in the four way race was 6.62%, clearly decisive but not the landslide predicted less than two weeks ago.

IFE said that more than 50 million Mexicans voted on July 1, and overwhelmingly they cast "free and secret" ballots. Claiming that there is no evidence of fraud, irregularities or legal violations apart from very isolated cases, the commission said that it's "ready to defend ballot by ballot" any allegations to the contrary. The glowing confirmation of Enrique Peña Nieto's triumph by the nation's highest electoral authority, which emphasized that he won "transparently and legitimately," has infuriated many.

Last night's anti-Peña Nieto protest was by far the largest I've seen in the City of Peace. It greatly exceeded the scale of three anemic YoSoy 132 events in May and June, the last of which was nearly canceled for lack of attendance. While a couple of thousand marchers is a dribble compared to what happened yesterday in some cities across the nation, in this gateway to the Mayan world it was an unusually impressive turnout. Even last summer's head-bashing between PAN and PRI operatives over a routine capital improvements project didn't generate such enthusiasm.

The sole uniting factor in last night's demonstration was opposition to Mexico's president-elect. Only one YoSoy 132 placard was in the crowd, but many carried signs alleging fraud and collusion between IFE and the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). All demanded that the election results be annulled, chanting "Fuera Peña" -- "Out with Peña Nieto."

Mérida, Saturday, July 7, 2012


"Soriana-gate" was a popular theme with many protesters in Mérida last night, just as it is all over the nation with people objecting to PRI's victory (most of whom supported PRD). Soriana is a major grocery chain in Mexico. Like supermarkets everywhere, the store encourages its customers to carry a free shopper's card. Every time a purchase is made the customer earns points which can be saved or used to reduce the bill at check out. Runner up presidential candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador claims that PRI bought the election by passing out tens of thousands of Soriana cards carrying prepaid credits, allegedly ranging from 100 to 1,000 pesos ($7.50-$75.00 USD). PRI has flatly denied the claim, and yesterday IFE ruled that there is insufficient evidence of fraud or misconduct to void the results. The commission now finds itself a target of anti-Peña Nieto protesters.

"Where are the 38% who voted for Enrique Peña Nieto? They're lining up at Soriana."

Another message for the watching world, which needs no translation.

All images Copyright 2011-2012 Edward V. Byrne d/b/a Mexico Gulf Region Reporter (MGRR). All rights reserved under U.S. and international law.

No comments:

Post a Comment