Mexico president lashes out after thousands protest in pro-democracy rallies

“They don’t care about democracy, what they want is to continue with the oligarchy, the rule of the rich,” the president said.

Demonstrators say the electoral law changes approved last week threaten democracy and could mark a return to past practices of vote manipulation. Few at Sunday’s demonstration had any kind words for López Obrador, either.

“The path he is taking is toward socialism, communism,” said Fernando Gutierrez, 55, a small businessman. “That’s obvious, from the aid going to Cuba,” Gutierrez said. López Obrador has imported coronavirus vaccines, medical workers and stone railway ballast from Cuba, but has shown little taste for socialist policies at home.

Sunday’s demonstrators were clad mostly in white and pink — the color of the National Electoral Institute — and shouted slogans like “Don’t Touch my Vote!” Like a similar but somewhat larger protest on Nov. 13, the demonstrators appeared somewhat more affluent than those at the average demonstration.

The heated nature of the debate drew attention from the U.S. government.

“Today, in Mexico, we see a great debate on electoral reforms that are testing the independence of electoral and judicial institutions,” Brian A. Nichols, the U.S. assistant secretary of state for Western hemisphere affairs, wrote in his Twitter account. “The United States supports independent, well-resourced electoral institutions that strengthen democratic processes and the rule of law.”

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