Thousands of members of the "Yo soy 132" student movement took to the streets of Mexico City to protest irregularities and violence during the presidential elections held over the weekend.
The march wound its way through the streets of the capital on Monday from the Estela de la Luz to the Monument to the Revolution.
Tens of thousands of young people chanted "Out Peña" as they marched, referring to Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, candidate Enrique Peña Nieto, who won Mexico's presidency in Sunday's general elections.
The students also carried banners that said "IFE, who taught you how to count, Elba Esther Gordillo?" in a reference to the Federal Electoral Institute, or IFE, and the head of the powerful national teachers union.
The student movement must now decide its next move, including possibly calling for cancellation of the presidential election or a run-off, movement member Enrique Perez Polanco said.
When told that Mexican law does not provide for a run-off, Perez Polanco, who works as a theater producer in the southeastern city of Merida, said that "if this is about governability and social peace, it could be an option."
"Let's not forget that only 60 percent of the population voted and, of that proportion, only 38 percent quote-unquote elected Peña. That means that less than 30 percent elected the one who is going to govern the 100 percent. In more advanced democratic countries, they have run-offs or the requirement of getting more than 50 percent of the votes to win," Perez Polanco said.
The 2012 presidential campaign was marked by the emergence of the national student movement, which called for a clean election, change and an end to manipulation of the political system by Mexico's huge media companies.
The student movement started on May 11, when Peña Nieto visited the Universidad Iberoamericana and was jeered by students, who accused him of being a candidate "manufactured" by the powerful Televisa network.
Those in Peña Nieto's inner circle and some media pundits downplayed the incident, accusing the students of being agitators.
The students counterattacked by making a video that was posted on YouTube.
The criticism led to the birth of the "Somos mas de 131" (We Are More Than 131) movement, which took its name from the number of students who appeared in the video and later evolved into the "Yo soy 132" (I Am 132) movement when students from other universities joined the protests.
The non-partisan movement's main demand was for impartiality in media coverage of political campaigns, but it also came out against the candidate of the PRI.
"It's interesting that the official statements about the election, for which we had no point of reference for anything, call it a transparent, calm, peaceful and orderly election," Antonio Attolini, one of the student movement's spokesmen, said.
The movement documented dozens of irregularities, ranging from the late opening of polling places to the burning of ballot boxes, Attolini said.
"We had a day with many irregularities, lack of legality, outbreaks of violence," Attolini said.
The student activist was the coordinator of the "Peace Room" set up by the movement on Sunday to review the reports sent via the Internet by Yo soy 132's 3,000 observers from polling places across Mexico.
"The authorities did not guarantee legality or respond in accordance with their obligations to the complaints filed during election day," the student movement said in a statement released after Sunday's election.
The student movement has grown quickly, thanks to the use of social-networking sites to get the word out. EFE