In 2000, millions of Mexicans tired of the culture of corruption and of human rights abuses in their country, elected Vicente Fox as their president. This election marked the first time in over 70 years the president of Mexico was not from the Pardido Revolucianario Institucional (PRI) party. Tell us what you think about these photos and the issues -human rights and corruption – they depict.
- Mothers of the Disappeared
Rosario Ibarra de Piedra, center, leads a march in Mexico City on October 22, 2001 to protest the disappearance of her son, a political activist who vanished in 1975. Demonstrators hold up pictures of people who have disappeared, including a picture of a man who disappeared in June 2001. According to an Amnesty International report released in June 2002, four people have disappeared since Fox took office in December 2000. The actual number may be much higher since many people are afraid to report to authorities.
Jose Luis Magana/Associated Press
- Tlatelolco Massacre
Ten days before the 1968 Olympics opened in Mexico City, Mexican students took to the streets to demand democratic reforms from the PRI government. On October 2, 1968, as hundreds of unarmed students marched to the Plaza of Three Cultures in Tlatelolco, Mexico City, army troops opened fire. Official reports put the death toll at 40, but other reports estimated casualties at 300 dead with hundreds more injured. In this picture, soldiers hold students stripped to their underwear at gunpoint. In June 2002, more than 30 years after the Tlatelolco Massacre, President Vicente Fox released secret police files and named a special prosecutor to determine the role of former Minister of the Interior and President Luis Echeverria in the massacre.
- Protest Against Corruption
A Mexico City policeman stands with his lips sewn together as a protest against corruption in city law enforcement agencies. In a May 2002 clean-up effort, Mexico City motorcycle patrolmen were sent back to the police academy for classes in anti-corruption and trained in how to turn down bribes. But in a city where salaries for policemen are as low as $410 a month, even the director of the police academy admits the temptation to accept bribes remains high.
- Fox Fights Corruption
President Vicente Fox delivers a speech at the National Accord for Transparency and the Combat of Corruption on February 26, 2001. Behind Fox is a sign that reads "No More Payoffs Already". Fox, who ran on a platform of anti-corruption in the 2000 elections, is targeting corruption in all levels of Mexican society -- from firing customs service supervisors to launching a media campaign discouraging Mexicans from offering bribes -- or "mordidas" which literally means "bites" in Spanish.