Massive protest in the Zócalo of Mexico City demanding clean elections 2:21

(CNN Spanish) --

The president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, this Monday dismissed the massive concentration held on Sunday in the Zócalo of Mexico City, called by more than a hundred civil organizations in defense of electoral autonomy and the freedom to vote in the face of the federal elections on June 2.

In his usual morning conference, the Mexican president pointed out that the mobilization, called the “March for Democracy,” was led by former government leaders who now appear in the opposition and “disguise themselves as democrats.”

  • What is voted on in the Mexican elections in 2024? In which states will governor and city councils be elected?

"Because those who were before, either in the government or those who benefited from corruption, are dissatisfied and want to return. I also want them to return, but what they stole! And now they disguise themselves as democrats," said López Obrador, from his conference in the central state of Puebla.

López Obrador thus referred to this Sunday's mobilization, which brought together 90,000 people in the Zócalo according to data from the Government Secretariat of Mexico City and 700,000 attendees according to the organizers, who highlighted that there were also events in another hundred cities. inside and outside of Mexico with the aim of demanding free voting, two weeks before the presidential campaigns begin, on March 1.

Attendees also demanded respect for institutions such as the National Electoral Institute (INE), independence of the Judiciary, and rejection of the disappearance of autonomous bodies and regulatory entities, a plan that the president has included in the reform package presented on February 5. .


Presidential candidates react to the march

The candidates for the presidency of Mexico, Xóchitl Gálvez and Claudia Sheinbaum, also reacted to Sunday's citizen mobilization. In a video published on her social networks, the candidate of the Broad Front for Mexico, made up of the National Action, Institutional Revolutionary and Democratic Revolution parties, Gálvez, celebrated citizen participation in defense of democracy.

“Democracy is exercised from the polls, but also from the streets and public squares. As long as Mexico has citizens who go out to demonstrate to defend their democracy, who exercise their right to free expression of ideas, there will be no authoritarian temptation” over the institutions, Gálvez said in his video.

For her part, in her first speech after registering with the National Electoral Institute as a presidential candidate for the ruling Morena, Sheinbaum launched against the March for Democracy.

“It is important, and even more so here in this room, to point out the falsehood and hypocrisy of those who speak or march for democracy when at the time they promoted electoral fraud,” the former head of Government of Mexico City said on Sunday, from the headquarters of the National Electoral Institute.

  • What is the inter-campaign of the elections in Mexico and what prohibits the pre-candidates

For political analyst Hernán Gómez Bruera, the call for Sunday's rally in the country's main public square around the premise that the vote is not free "was not consistent" with what some attendees with whom he was able to speak said. .

"Most of the reasons they give to argue that the vote is not free are quite inconsistent. For example, saying that one of the reasons was that because the government threatens and corrupts businessmen the vote is not free. I don't know what do they mean by that," Gómez Bruera told CNN. "In this country we won the right to vote a long time ago and it has nothing to do with businessmen or the media. The votes are counted, there is a solid electoral system and it seems that they are the ones who are questioning it today" , he added.

In contrast, the opposition celebrated that thousands of people took to the streets to defend democratic principles.

"This demonstration did not necessarily have an anti-government character, but more in favor of our rights, in favor of free voting and citizenship, expressing the demand for the defense of democracy," the independent senator from the Plural Parliamentary Group told CNN this Monday. Emilio Álvarez Icaza.

"We will take to the streets as many times as necessary to defend our rights," concluded the legislator.