Taking To The Streets
Thousands protest president's plan to overhaul Mexican electoral system
Thousands of people marched down Mexico City's main thoroughfare on Sunday to protest President Andrés Manuel López Obrador's proposed electoral reforms, The Associated Press reported.
The colossal crowd seemed to undermine López Obrador's stance that the protestors were among a small minority of elitists within Mexico.
The heart of the protests concerned the country's National Electoral Institute, the government agency responsible for running Mexico's federal elections. The crowd was gathered in opposition to López Obrador's announced plan to overhaul the institute and replace its council members with publically elected delegates. The president's plan would also include cutting financing for political parties and eliminating state electoral offices, per AP.
While López Obrador has continually pushed these proposed reforms, many critics are worried that the institutional restructuring could cause democratic backsliding within Mexico. A recent op-ed in the Miami Herald called the president's plan "an alarming political development that could mark the end of democracy in Mexico."
It seemed many in the crowd of protesters agreed with this sentiment.
"I'm already fed up with [López Obrador], with so many lies, so much crime," Alejandra Galán, a 45-year-old manager, told AP. "He wants to take the [electoral institute] from us so that eventually it's like Venezuela, Cuba, but we're not going to let him."
Another protestor, Jorge González, told AP the country may only be "a step away" from an authoritarian regime.
López Obrador, however, dismissed the protests on Monday as "racist" and "classist," and urged his supporters to hold a counter-protest.