Massive “march for democracy” in Mexico

Marches took place in a hundred cities across the country, and in other cities in the United States and Spain.

On Sunday, protesters wearing pink marched in Mexico and other countries, under the banner of protecting democracy and asking the ruling party’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) to respect the electoral process before the June 2 elections.

The protests were organized by Mexico’s opposition parties, who called for fair and transparent elections in the Latin American country and denounced corruption. They coincided with the official registration of Claudia Sheinbaum as the candidate of the ruling Morena party for the presidency.

Sheinbaum is widely regarded as the successor of the leftist President AMLO, who enjoys high popularity among many voters who believe he removed the elite parties from power in 2018 and represents the working class. However, the 70-year-old president has also faced criticism for actions that could undermine the country’s democracy.

Last year, the president reduced the budget of the country’s electoral agency, the National Electoral Institute, and weakened the supervision of campaign spending, which the INE director warned could harm democracy itself. The protesters adopted the agency’s color, pink, as their symbol.

López Obrador has also verbally attacked journalists in long press conferences, frequently clashed with Mexico’s judiciary and accused judges of being part of a conservative plot against his government.

On Sunday in Mexico City, thousands of people in pink gathered in the Zócalo, Mexico City’s main square, chanting “López out.” Some held signs that said “the power of the people is greater than the people with power.”

“Our democracy is not touched,” read another sign displayed on the stage where several leaders spoke less than three months before the elections.

“We want our votes to count and to live in a true democracy,” Natalia Carrillo, 28, told El País. “This is not against the president, but it is true that the line between opposing the Government and defending our rights is becoming increasingly blurred.”

Organizers claimed that about 700,000 people participated in Mexico City, possibly making it one of the biggest protests against López Obrador as his term comes to an end.

Some of the opposition groups that marched were the National Civic Front, Sí por México, Poder Ciudadano, Sociedad Civil México, UNE México and Unidos por México. Many stated that it was a non-political mobilization to highlight that the pink wave represented democracy.

“Democracy does not solve water, it does not solve hunger, it does not solve many things. But without democracy nothing can be resolved,” Enrique de la Madrid Cordero, a prominent politician from the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), said in a video posted on social media inviting people to join the protest.

Marches took place in a hundred cities across the country, and in other cities in the United States and Spain.

Nevertheless, the president remains very popular and his ally Sheinbaum seems to have a relatively easy path to the presidency, as he leads the polls by a huge 64% over his closest rival, Gálvez, who would get 31% of the vote.

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