Mexican Youth Take Media to Task During Mexico's Elections

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While not all organizers agree with the term Mexican Spring to describe the changes taking place right now, it's an exciting time for activists and students who've taken to the streets in a series of actions on mainstream media coverage of the country's presidential elections — specifically how politicians have bought favorable coverage. The general election takes place in Mexico on Sunday, July 1.

Marta Molina captured the student-led movements in a series of stories on Waging Nonviolence. Molina's focus right now is on the organization of the Yo Soy 132 movement, or I am 132 (see video above). During a May 23 protest, Molina wrote that "thousands of Mexican university students, academics, youth, as well as some who were not-so-youthful, began to mobilize for the democratization of Mexico’s media and against the role that the media is playing in the upcoming presidential elections. And the youth are seriously moving."

While this movement was first identified as a Mexican Spring, in Molina's analysis, she explains much more needs to take place:

There are two important challenges that Yo Soy 132 must overcome for the Mexican Spring to truly bloom: expand the political demands that began with the first assembly on May 30, and create an organizational body that goes beyond the spontaneous outcomes of the assembly. Moving towards this goal, they should also take advantage of the months that lie between the presidential elections and the December inauguration.

You can read the full piece and other stories from Molina on the Waging Nonviolence page.

While political candidates, particularly presidential candidate Enrique Peña Nieto, have denied buying favorable media coverage, Narco News published a piece yesterday that sites a Guardian article on U.S. State Department cables released by WikiLeaks on Peña Nieto and other candidate's purchase of favorable coverage from companies like Televisa, Mexico’s largest television network.

From Narco News:

Televisa issued an indignant denial and questioned the veracity of the London daily’s report. But the facts of The Guardian story are supported by documents sent by the US Embassy in Mexico City to other US government agencies in 2009.

The Guardian’s report hit the news cycle just as a growing social movement in Mexico, called YoSoy132 (I Am 132) is mobilizing against what it deems a manipulative commercial media that is seeking to impose a presidential candidate, Peña Nieto, on the electorate in the run-up to the July 1 Mexican presidential election.

Peña Nieto is being promoted in the mainstream media as the leading candidate in Mexico’s presidential race. He served as governor of the State of Mexico from 2005 to 2011, prior to announcing his run for the presidency in September 2011.

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