Mexicans turn out in droves to protest electoral overhaul, see democracy at risk

On Sunday, huge crowds protested against the government’s attempts to reduce the electoral authority in Mexico. It was the largest demonstration against the administration of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

Mexico City organizers claimed that over 500,000 people attended the event. Social media footage showed the central Zocalo square being thronged by protesters who spilled onto adjacent streets. A nearby police officer said that he heard the figure of half a million, but others gave lower estimates.

The Mexico City government, controlled by Lopez Obrador’s Party, reported that 90,000.

On Wednesday, Mexico’s Congress approved a major overhaul to the National Electoral Institute. Lopez Obrador had previously attacked it as inefficient and corrupt.


The president, a 69-year old man, denies that his changes will harm Mexican democracy. Critics vow to sue the Supreme Court for the legislation that cuts the budget and staff of the INE, as well as reduces its responsibilities.

Veronica Echevarria (a 58 year-old Mexican psychologist at the protest) said that she feared Lopez Obrador’s INE shakeup was a bid to keep him in power. He denied this.

Echevarria, who was wearing a cap with the words “Hands Off the INE” on it, said that “We’re fighting for our democracy.”