Mexico student protests trip up presidential frontrunner

Presidential frontrunner Enrique Pena Nieto,  the candidate of the powerful Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), has met an unprecedented backlash from university students across the country.

A string of marches against the Pena Nieto have rallied tens of thousands of young people.

“We are targeting Enrique Pena Nieto because he represents a decadent system that needs to be renewed. As a candidate, he is at the orders of the media industry and other big businesses. As a president, he will only look out for their interests,” said Julio Colin, a 23-year-old political science major at the Ibero-American University in Mexico City.

Colin is one of the spokesmen of the student-led #YoSoy132 movement, or I Am 132, that has been behind massive demonstrations in the Mexican capital and dozens of other cities around the country.

They accuse Televisa and TV Azteca, the country’s two main TV networks, of favouring Pena Nieto in the contest.

The sudden and enthusiastic anti-media and anti-Pena Nieto rallies have captured global headlines, with some journalists wondering if the 132 movement could block the PRI’s widely-predicted return to power.

Pena Nieto now faces an even more embarrassing bump in the campaign road. The three other Mexican presidential hopefuls have agreed to participate in a third and unscheduled debate organised by #YoSoy132 on Tuesday. While the group pledged to lead a balanced debate, Pena Nieto has so far declined to join in.

“We would like to receive [Pena Nieto’s] confirmation at the last moment, but it does not look like he will accept,” said Colin.  (France24.com)


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