Aug 28, 2012

#Yo Soy 132 Garners International Support

#YoSoy132 New York in Action. 
Americas Program: Mexico City - Mexico's student-led resistance movement, #Yo Soy 132, has been gathering global support since May of this year. The movement that started just four months ago in Mexico has become a leading force for democracy, and against what it considers to be the "imposition" of presumed president-elect, Enrique Peña Nieto.

Just after the group’s inception the #YoSoy132 movement began forming groups, or “cells”, beyond Mexico´s borders. Mexican youth and their supporters have organized actions of international solidarity in Argentina, Barcelona and Paris and dozens of other cities.The protests against the return of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), election fraud, and biases in elections reporting by the mainstream Mexican media, now find their way into newspapers on several continents.

Protests of the San Francisco #YoSoy132
Photo: Raul Fernández- Berriozábal
The United States hosts more movement cells than any other country--not surprising given the number of people with ties to its neighbor to the south. #Yo Soy 132 is active in more than 30 U.S. cities, all working to shed light on what they believe is election fraud. Sister cells in Boston, Chicago, Houston, and Miami, just to name a few, all hope that arousing international attention will help create pressure on the Mexican electoral institutions, causing the Elections Tribunal to take into account evidence presented by both the movement and opposition parties alleging electoral foul play.

In California's San Francisco bay area, activists began organizing under the 132 banner after the movement's inception this May.

“Our first goal is to distribute information”, says San Francisco-based activist Raúl Fernández-Berriozábal, “but the larger goal is to invalidate the elections. We are not representing any political party, but we are behind democracy.” Fernández-Berriozábal and others are hoping that Mexico's Elections Tribunal will decide to annul the elections in a decision due the first week of September.

 In New York, the local #YoSoy132 has partnered with the Occupy Wall Street movement, finding common ground in their demands for democracy.

 The two groups have also collaborated to support an organization called Two Countries, One Voice, which exposes political corruption in Mexico and has focused much of its energy on the activities of Carlos Slim.

 In an estimated 52 cities around the world, protesters are organized in solidarity with #Yo Soy132. Cells are based in Australia, China, Germany, Portugal, and a handful of other countries. “We're in contact with a cell in Egypt,” says Fernández-Berriozábal, “there are an awful lot of Arabs and Egyptians who embrace the cause of Mexico, we feel we can gain from their experience.”
SF Bay Area group protests at Univision
Photo: Raul Fernández- Berriozábal

 Though the YoSoy132 movement began among students in Mexico, the cause has been relatively successful in engaging a much wider audience. The bay area group, for example, is made up of a mix of students, journalists, artists, workers and activists.

“The origin is a student movement,” says Fernández-Berriozábal, “yet it has become a movement of many thousands of other people”.

By Americas MexicoBlogger Sarah Brady

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