Marchers tell Mexico president to quit on eve of independence celebrations
Published 16/09/2016 | 04:21
A social media campaign drew thousands to a march demanding President Enrique Pena Nieto's resignation as Mexico prepared for its annual independence celebration.
The turnout in Mexico City on Thursday was small for a march in a place with 20 million residents, mostly drawing young people. But its timing reinforced the country's dissatisfaction with Mr Pena Nieto.
The president suffers from abysmal approval ratings that risk plunging even more after last month's widely ridiculed meeting with US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.
His party in June were defeated in elections in four states it had never lost before.
He is also under pressure over the way the authorities have investigated the case of 43 missing students in Iguala, in the southern state of Guerrero, in September 2014.
The families of the students have been demanding the resignation of Tomas Zeron, the former head of investigations for the Mexican Attorney General's Office, and were angered when he was named a national security adviser hours after quitting.
A heavy police presence prevented the marchers from reaching the Zocalo, the city's central square where many others had gathered for the annual independence eve ceremony. The crowd eventually began to disperse peacefully.
Mr Pena Nieto was marking the national celebration with the traditional shout of independence in the Zocalo later on Thursday night.
Activist Ignacio Del Valle was among the protesters.
"We have nothing to celebrate," he said. "On the contrary, the motive of our presence in this protest of dissatisfaction is just this - to repudiate Pena Nieto."