Run up to mid-term election in Mexico marred by violence

Army troops, marines and federal police deployed to southern states by Mexican government to protect polling stations as violence hits the country before upcoming weekend elections

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

A radical teachers’ union and students have staged violent protests attacking the offices of five political parties in Chiapas state in the south of the country.

Radical teachers along with relatives of Mexico’s disappeared have pledged to disrupt voting in the country’s upcoming national election on Sunday.

The election campaign has been marred by the murders of candidates in drug-related violence which raised serious questions about the fairness and legitimacy of the election.

The demonstrations turned violent and have been intense in Oaxaca where teachers kicked electoral officials out their offices and burned ballot papers, with students protesting in support of 43 missing fellow students and demanding the suspension of the June 7 elections.

Relatives of people killed or disappeared in the drug war violence prevalent in Mexico for past eight years were among the protesters.

Tens of thousand of ballots in Guerrero and Oaxaca were set on fire by protesters in what appears to be some of the worst political violence in Mexico’s history.

It has also been reported that the protesters took furniture and papers from ruling PRI party offices in the city of Oaxaca.

Despite the unrest the elections will go ahead and Mexican voters will choose Congressmen, governors and mayors, electoral officials said.

The protests pose a great challenge for President Enrique Pena Nieto who has been trying to live up to his 2012 election promise to bring peace to Mexico, which has long been shaken by drug cartel violence.

TRTWorld and agencies