On Saturday, Enrique Peña Nieto was inaugurated as the next president of Mexico inside the congress building in Mexico City. Outside the building—known here as the Legislative Palace of San Lázaro—we were trying our best to duck out of the way of projectiles, dodge rubber bullets, and avoid taking big mouthfuls of tear gas.
In preparation for the uproar that seems to mark political events such as this one, the congress had been surrounded by barricades and anti-riot walls for days, while protesters from all walks of life had begun gathering since the early hours on Saturday. One of the loudest groups was #yosoy132, the student movement that erupted against Nieto during the presidential campaigns earlier this year. Organizing themselves with the Twitter hashtag #MexicoNoTienePresident (#MexicoHasNoPresident), they carried out something they referred to as operation #1DMX. Their protest was meant to be peaceful, but then the black bloc showed up and things took an ugly turn.
As the situation became more violent, the demonstration split into two groups. The peaceful side gathered around a truck parked outside the San Lázaro subway station and got busy screaming, thinking this was the best way to convince their fellow demonstrators to remain calm. The more aggressive parties took to breaking walls and sidewalks with sledgehammers, throwing the blocks of rock they gathered to the hundreds of federal police officers standing behind the metallic wall encompassing the congress building.
Once the first few Molotov cocktails were thrown, the cops brought out the tear gas. North from where we stood, a group tried to penetrate the anti-riot walls through an opening made by a construction truck that had driven straight into it. Soon after, we found ourselves surrounded by 500 federal police officers. It was at that point that we decided to get the fuck out of there and started walking with the peaceful contingent in the direction of the National Palace, which is located on the Zocalo, the city’s main square, just a few blocks away.
As soon as we made it downtown, we realized the entire Zocalo was surrounded by cops but we managed to talk an officer into letting us walk through one of the security fences at the exact same moment Enrique Peña Nieto was being sworn in as the new president of Mexico.
ENTIRE ARTICLE HERE: Mexico Welcomed Its New President with Molotovs and Rubber Bullets | VICE.