In nationwide demonstrations on Saturday, tens of thousands of Mexicans peacefully took to the streets in protest of President-elect Enrique Peña Nieto, accusing his party, the PRI, of corruption and vote-buying. In Mexico City, a reported 50,000 people participated in the "MegaMarcha," while a simultaneous demonstration in Tijuana had an estimated 10,000 participants. Additional marches occurred throughout many Mexican states, including Oaxaca, Monterrey, Chihuahua, Jalisco, and Guadalajara, as well as in U.S cities like Los Angeles and Austin.
People held signs lambasting Soriana, the Mexican supermarket chain allegedly involved with vote-buying via gift cards that were said to have been distributed by Peña Nieto's party, the PRI. Many signs also mentioned Televisa, Mexico's largest television network, accused of manipulating voters by skewing political coverage in favor Peña Nieto during the campaign. Some banners targeted the foreign press, declaring in English that "democracy in Mexico is a fraud."
Tijuana's own march was largely organized via social media networks, with help from students involved with Mexico's growing "Yo Soy 132" movement, named after the Twitter hashtag #YoSoy132. On Facebook, at least five different event pages advertised the protest, with one boasting an anticipated attendance of over 8,000 people. The march began and ended at the traffic circle Glorieta del Cuauhtémoc, named after Aztec ruler Cuauhtémoc, in the heart of Zona Rio, the city's business district.
Despite the massive numbers, Televisa aired live footage of a celebrity wedding during the protest. "Just obscene," tweeted Daniel Hernandez, a journalist based in Mexico City. "Televisa airing live-feed of wedding of no-name actor... while tens of thousands protest on the streets outside." He noted that chanting from the "MegaMarcha" in the capital city could be heard in the background of Televisa's newscast.
Demonstrations are expected to continue in the coming days.
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