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The 'Mexican spring:' A new student movement stirs in Mexico

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“It is not necessarily going to change the way this election goes,” says Enrique Cuna, a sociology professor at the Metropolitan Autonomous University Iztapalapa (UAM) who carried out a recent study on youth voting tendencies with United Nations funding. “But it is putting student demands on the public agenda.”

The movement began after the PRI frontrunner, Enrique Peña Nieto, visited the private Iberoamericano University in Mexico City on May 11, where students confronted him on his record as governor of Mexico state. But when the event was given scant attention by the media, students say, and they were dismissed by the PRI as impostors from rival parties, 131 of them created a YouTube video declaring themselves indeed students. Others joined in, saying they were No. 132, and the name #YoSoy132 has stuck.

The students have since led marches on the streets and to government offices, garnering thousands of supporters. They have also marched to the Televisa network station, which students say has portrayed Peña Nieto in a favorable light – both now and during his stint as the governor of Mexico state.

‘A wake up call to candidates’

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