Thousands reject Mexican elections results with Mega Marcha protests worldwide
In Los Angeles, 200 demonstrators protested outside the Mexican consulate.
Thousands of Mexicans around the world protested today to reject the results of the Mexican elections and denouncing them as fraudulent. Protesters of the “Mega Marcha” shouted slogans against Peña Nieto; PRI; the electoral authority Instituto Federal Electoral, or IFE; and against TV networks.
Thousands marched to Zocalo Square in Mexico City. (Photo: Manuel Rueda)
Protesters in Vancouver. (Photo: Daniela Gardea)
In Los Angeles, several Mexicans expressed their discontent. “They robbed us like they have robbed us our entire lives,” said Irma Soto, 61. She lamented the return of Partido Revolucionario Institucional, or PRI, which ruled for the 71 years until the elections in 2000.
“We’re here demonstrating against fraud and corruption,” said Efren Berber, 32, who added that said elections had been marred by “mediatic fraud.”
A recount Thursday confirmed Peña Nieto’s win with 38.2 percent of the vote – 6.7 points ahead Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. But Obrador has refused to concede given the controversy around the elections.
Would be first-time voter Ricardo Ríos, 19, attended the protests after he was turned away at the polls for lack of ballots. He said he crossed the border to vote, driving from Los Angeles to Tijuana on election day, but PRI bused in people to vote at the ballot boxes meant for travelers.
“I was devastated – so frustrated,” said Ríos. He waited in line for six hours.
Ricardo Ríos (left) and Fernando García demonstrate outside the Mexican consulate in Los Angeles.
Gaspar Rivera-Salgado Advisor to Frente Indígena de Organizaciones, or FIOB, said this process called “el acarreo” was typical. Acarreo, the practice busing people to clog the system, he said is common to PRI.
“PRI are election experts. The tricks they do are subtle and hard to detect,” he said.
Frente Indígena demanded that IFE follow electoral law going forward and lift restrictions on expat voters. It called for a boycott of Soriana, Bimbo, Televisa, and TV Azteca and gave support to student movement #yosoy132.
Mexico’s electoral tribunal has until September to review complaints and officially name Peña Nieto president.
“We can’t standby,” said Fernando García, 32, who was also turned away at the polls. “The straw that broke the camel’s back.”
Here is raw video from the demonstration in MacArthur Park (Los Angeles):
More from protesters around the world: