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Thousands protest for Mexican leader to ‘resign now’

/ 09:49 AM September 16, 2016
People march to demand the resignation of Mexico's President Enrique Peña Nieto in Mexico City, Thursday, Sept. 15, 2016, one day before the country's independence day. AP Photo

People march to demand the resignation of Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto in Mexico City, Thursday, Sept. 15, 2016, one day before the country’s independence day. AP Photo

MEXICO CITY—Thousands of people protested in Mexico City on Thursday, demanding that President Enrique Peña Nieto “resign now” over his handling of drug violence, corruption and his meeting with Donald Trump.

Demonstrators held a sign reading “Peña Nieto INEPT, RESIGN for the good of Mexico!” and waved blackened flags of Mexico on the eve of the country’s Independence Day.

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They marched across the capital toward the Zocalo square, where the president traditionally stands on a balcony of the National Palace the night before the holiday to replicate the “Grito” or shout of independence made in 1810.

Riot police stood near the Zocalo to block access to protesters, who marched under the rallying cry “resign now.”

Parents of 43 students missing since September 2014 joined the protest, with people angry at the government’s failure to solve the case, almost two years after they were abducted by police and allegedly killed by a drug cartel.

READ: Mexico leader in first visit to city of mass disappearance

Some shouted “Peña out!” while one sign read: “We’re missing 43. State crime!”

“We don’t have a reason to shout ‘viva Mexico.’ … There are thousands of injustices,” said Cristina Bautista, mother of one of the missing trainee teachers.

Ismael Padilla, a 49-year-old assistant principal at a secondary school who wore a black charro suit, said that was unhappy at Peña Nieto’s decision to invite Trump last month, despite the White House hopeful’s demands for Mexico to pay for a border wall and description of migrants as “rapists.”

READ: Mexico angry at president’s ‘humiliating’ meeting with Trump

“We were apparently independent,” Padilla said.

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“After the visit of this person who has discriminated against our brothers … we are outraged and ashamed that he came here like a head of state, because that was the treatment he was given,” he said. “We have very little to celebrate.”

Nubia Medina, 64, held a sign stating that “all the inept and corrupt must go.”

“We are tired that this government has always done things badly,” she said.

“It has neglected social issues. They live like princes while the people live on minimum wage. There are many who have disappeared or died.”

Peña Nieto, who took office in December 2012, has seen his approval rating sink to 23 percent in a recent survey by Reforma newspaper.

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TAGS: Donald Trump, Enrique pena nieto, Mexico, protest
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