Protests against drug violence in Mexico
Mexican citizens have taken to protesting against the government in an attempt to curb the drug violence plaguing the country.
This story was originally covered by PRI's The Takeaway. For more, listen to the audio above.
Nearly 40,000 people have been killed in drug related violence in Mexico over the past few years. Many Mexican citizens have had enough, and they've started coming out in droves to protest against Mexico's President Felipe Calderon and his war on drugs.
"On Wednesday, we saw almost 30 cities across the country" taking part in the protests, Franc Contreras, a freelance journalist in Mexico City, told PRI's The Takeaway. Almost 5,000 people turned out in the Capital alone.
"They're very angry," Contreras reports. "They were yelling at the top of their lungs, 'Calderon should step down from office.'" They were also yelling, "we will not tolerate it any more" and "no more deaths."
"It's all triggered because a very well known Mexican poet had his son murdered near the Mexican capital in a town called Cuernavaca," according to Contreras. Cuernavaca was once a place where people would go to get away from the big city. "It used to be a very peaceful place," Contreras reports, "but it's become a place where you'll see bodies hanging from public bridges."
The drug violence and protests have started to take their toll on Mexican politics. "The President himself has said that [war on drugs] policy will remain in place until his term ends next year, 2012," Contreras reports. Even though, according to Contreras, "the polls indicate that most Mexicans don't support the President's war on drugs."
For some people, that 2012 Presidential election can't come fast enough. Contreras reports that the former ruling party that governed Mexico for 80 years stands a good chance of coming back into power after the next elections. It's a "devil you know" situation, according to Contreras. He says all the drug violence "could definitely affect politics here" especially in 2012.
"The Takeaway" is a national morning news program, delivering the news and analysis you need to catch up, start your day, and prepare for what's ahead. The show is a co-production of WNYC and PRI, in editorial collaboration with the BBC, The New York Times Radio, and WGBH.