Mexican protest movement arises in opposition to PRI and media bias

Yo Soy 132, a Mexican protest movement, has been ongoing since May 2012. The movement was a prelude to Mexico’s 2012 general election in July and stemmed from an opposition to Enrique Peña Nieto, the previous candidate of the Institutional Revolutionary Party. The movement also voiced opposition to the Mexican media’s allegedly biased coverage of the election.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, local media refers to Yo Soy 132 as the “Mexican Spring” and international media coined it as the “Mexican Occupy movement.”

Disillusioned youth and students who are discontented with Mexican democracy are the bulk of the movement’s protestors.

Unrest instigated by the movement began in May when Peña Nieto held a conference at the Ibero-American University in Mexico City. Attendees questioned Peña Nieto with increasing persistence, some outright rejecting his candidacy.

Peña Nieto exited the campus after the event amid students’ boos; one person captured the scene on video and uploaded it to YouTube. This video amassed 1 million views, but Peña Nieto claimed that a political opponent staged the entire incident.

In response, someone in the movement uploaded another video of 131 students who attended the conference holding up their student identification cards. This video went viral, birthing the name of the movement, which is Spanish for “I am 132.”

Yo Soy 132 has led protests in Mexico City, Tijuana, Guadalajara and other Mexican cities. Much of the activism for the movement has been organized and facilitated online through social networking sites, often under the guise #yosoy132.

The protestors have seen some success. Before the election, they successfully lobbied for the second national presidential debate to be televised nationally. They also held a third debate, hosted by the movement itself. According to, Peña Nieto declined his invitation to the debate because of his reservations about impartiality.

Despite the movement, however, Peña Nieto won the general election on July 1 and was declared president-elect by the Federal Electoral Institute. Yo Soy 132 responded by alleging widespread electoral fraud.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the movement’s future after the elections is uncertain, though protestors have claimed that they will continue to be active.