As evidence of electoral irregularities mount and massive vote buying schemes surface in the wake of Sunday’s presidential election in Mexico, a broad cross-section of Tijuana took to its streets to protest the president-elect, Enrique Peña Nieto and the Institutional Revolutionary Party’s [PRI] return to power.
Fearful that that their young democracy was being hijacked by PRI—the one-party dictatorship that ruled Mexico for 71 years before finally being booted out in country’s first free and fair elections in 2000—several thousand demonstrators marched from Zone Rio to the offices of Instituto Federal Electoral, Mexico’s federal election commission.
One of the largest protests in Tijuana in recent memory, demonstrators took a circuitous route through the city during a 7 hour march that quadrupled in size as the day went on. Chanting ‘fraud, fraud, fraud’ and ‘Enrique, understand, you’re not our president,’ the peaceful but spirited roving protest demonstrated outside the offices of TV Azteca—the other half of Mexico’s television duopoly—who they charge with political bias during the campaign. Shortly thereafter, they surrounded the supermarket chain Soriana, whose prepaid gift cards were used in a PRI vote buying scandal in the state of Mexico, in what is now being called ‘Sorianagate.’
The march ended right where it started, at the statue of a defiant Cuauhtémoc, where the swelling crowd took over one of the city’s busiest traffic circles, and in true Tijuana style, quickly blurred the lines between demonstration and street party.