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Mexican students are in the streets to demand objective coverage of the election campaign. They believe that the left candidate, expected to win, is favored by the media.
25.05.2012 | Lydia Cacho
Original French Text: http://www.courrierinternational.com/article/2012/05/25/le-cri-de-liberte-de-la-jeunesse
It is no coincidence. While in Mexico the students rise up in indignation at political humbug and media manipulation, Québec’s “maple spring” is now in its fourteenth week. Young Québécois rebelled against government plans to increase university fees by 75%. They argue that if the government can save the banks, it must tax the financial institutions so that education is free. They are right. The bank bailouts are one of the major pathologies of capitalism of the XXI century.
The movement born in Spain demonstrated the exasperation of the young, who know very well that the arrival of the Right in power will only further reduce freedoms and aggravate the social divide.
Among the students of the Ibero [a very prestigious private Ibero-American university], some have already enunciated a position more complex than mere anger at an arrogant candidate [Enrique Peña Nieto, Governor of the State of Mexico and candidate of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI)] whose hair remains unruffled [his hair, worthy of a telenovela protagonist, is an object of ridicule] but who ended up taking cover from the student rebellion in the bathroom.
For young Mexicans, the decline of the country has already become a personal problem. It is those under thirty who are most often victims of selective repression by the security services (police, army, etc.). The more they challenge the powers that be, the more they chance becoming victims of repression, violence, sometimes even risking their lives. Here I include my journalistic colleagues and human rights campaigners.
These students are promised an uncertain future; they are victims of an outdated educational system that does not prepare them for the reality of this century. To a greater or lesser extent, they find themselves left in a moral vacuum by the masters of Mexico, these bosses and politicians whose collusion has profoundly weakened the country.
They are a generation that refuses to be locked into the category of the Ninis [those who do not study or work], because, in the words of a young Mexican on Twitter, “Mexico is the nini: it doesn’t provide a quality free education or equal opportunity.”
Peña Nieto must be thanked for having provided the imperfect trigger for a perfect and indispensable rebellion: perfect because it comes from the grassroots, because it doesn’t follow any secret strategy, because it manifests itself in a dignified way, because it speaks out clearly against the manipulations of the media and the politicians, but above all because it is rooted in the desire of the young to freely express their political views, even to insult a candidate who threatens them and whose cynicism has become unacceptable. Perhaps Peña Nieto courted his own downfall by playing the youth card. Only young people wanting to live in the shadow of power would readily answer the call; the others retreat from him, knowing themselves better: they refuse to be his subjects.
Elena Poniatowska [Mexican writer] has called this the new May ’68. It is also a rebellion against the authoritarianism that promises us peace through silence, that promises us security through money, that promises us, always, continuity. Today, Mexican youth, having been ignored for so long, are demanding a different, free country. They have behind them not only words, but something far more powerful: a cry of freedom by which young people are taking back the streets in an “adultocentric” and very undemocratic country. And this is a first step.
Translated from the original French by Translating the printemps érable.
*Translating the printemps érable is a volunteer collective attempting to balance the English media’s extremely poor coverage of the student conflict in Québec by translating media that has been published in French into English. These are amateur translations; we have done our best to translate these pieces fairly and coherently, but the final texts may still leave something to be desired. If you find any important errors in any of these texts, we would be very grateful if you would share them with us at email@example.com. Please read and distribute these texts in the spirit in which they were intended; that of solidarity and the sharing of information.