Protestors clash with police in Mexico City as new president is sworn into office on a pledge to cut drug-related violenceDemonstrators opposed to Enrique Pena
Nieto fought violent battles with police this morning as the new
President took the oath of office
Hundreds banged on tall steel security barriers
around Congress and threw rocks, bottle rockets and firecrackers at police
10:38 GMT, 2 December 2012
Violent clashes which saw riot police fire tear gas at protestors marred the first day in office of Mexico's new president.
Demonstrators opposed to Enrique Pena Nieto fought violent battles with police this morning as the new President took the oath of office in Mexico City.
Before Pena Nieto's motorcade arrived this morning, hundreds banged on the tall steel security barriers
around Congress and threw rocks, bottle rockets and firecrackers at police.
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Violence: A protestor holds a rock during clashes with police outside the steel security barriers around the National Congress, where the swearing in of new Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto took place
Battle: Police officers try to contain rioters outside of the Congress building before the inauguration ceremony
Anger: Protesters opposed to the new president clashed with tear gas-wielding police. This demonstrator lights up spray outside the steel security barriers around the National Congress
Horrific: A police officer who was bleeding from the face was taken for medical treatment and one person was also left seriously injured
Police responded by spraying tear gas
from a truck and used fire extinguishers on flames from Molotov
One group of
protesters rammed and dented the barrier with a large garbage-style
truck before being driven off by police water cannons.
against the oppression, the imposition of a person,' said Alejandro,
25, a student and protester who didn't want to give his last name for
fear of reprisals. 'He gave groceries, money and a lot more so people
would vote for him.'
At least two were injured, one gravely,
police said, and a police officer who was bleeding from the face was
taken for medical treatment.
Following the swearing in of Pena Nieto it brought the old ruling party back to
power after a 12-year hiatus. Inside the
congressional chamber he swore to protect the constitution and
laws of the land.
The chamber erupted in cheers, with congress members chanting 'President!' and 'Mexico!'
VIDEO: Violent Clashes in Mexico as Nieto takes office:
In charge: Mexico's new President Enrique Pena Nieto waves after taking oath in congress in Mexico City today
Fury: At least two people were injured in the clashes, one seriously. Police are pictured spraying tear gas at the angry crowd
Not happy: Before Pena Nieto's motorcade arrived this morning, hundreds banged on the tall steel security barriers around Congress, threw rocks, bottle rockets and firecrackers at police
Dangerous: A demonstrator throws stones at a line of riot police during the protest
Leftist congress members inside the
chamber gave protest speeches and hung banners, including a giant one
reading, 'Imposition consummated. Mexico mourns.'
'One word sums up Dec. 1: The
restoration. The return to the past,' said Congressman Ricardo Monreal
of the Citizens Movement party.
Nieto had taken over at midnight in a symbolic ceremony after
campaigning as the new face of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or
PRI, repentant and reconstructed after being voted out of the
presidency in 2000.
The PRI ruled for 71 years with a mix of populist
handouts, graft and rigged elections.
Before the swearing in, leftist congressmen inside the chambers demanded to know what was going on in the crowds and urged police to use restraint.
Congressman Rafael Huerta of the Labor Party urged the new government to protect the people.
Another banner read: 'You're giving up a seat bathed in blood,' referring to outgoing President Felipe Calderon's attack on organised crime and the deaths of 60,000 people in that offensive by some counts.
Wounded: A seriously injured man is carried by demonstrators after he was hit with a tear gas canister reportedly shot by riot police
Violent: This protestor wields a chain at a passing police vehicle
Mess: One group of protesters rammed and dented the barrier around Congress with a large garbage-style truck before being driven off by police water cannons
Concerned: Before the swearing in, leftist congressmen inside the chambers demanded to know what was going on in the crowds and urged police to use restraint
Despite the protests, the swearing-in
atmosphere at Congress was far less chaotic than six years ago, when
Calderon security unit literally had to muscle him past blockades and
protesters to get him into Congress so he could take the oath of office
after a razor-thin, disputed victory over a leftist candidate.
Calderon had worked hard for a smooth transition after his experience.
the oath-taking, the new president headed to deliver an inaugural
speech at the historic National Palace in the city's downtown. Pena
Nieto also planned a luncheon for invited guests, including U.S. Vice
President Joe Biden, Prince Felipe of Spain and Colombian President Juan
Pena Nieto has promised to govern democratically with transparency. But his first moves even before the inauguration showed a solid link to the past. In announcing his Cabinet on Friday, he turned to the old guard as well as new technocrats to run his administration.
'I don't think there is any such thing as a `new PRI,”' said Rodrigo Aguilera, the Mexico analyst for the Economist Intelligence Unit. 'There is a new generation of PRI members, but they don't represent any fundamentally different outlook.'
Pena Nieto has pledged to make economic growth and job creation the centerpiece of his administration, with campaign manager and long-time confidant Luis Videgaray the point person.
Videgaray, a 44-year-old economist with a doctorate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology ,will lead the treasury department.
Miguel Angel Osorio Chong, a 48-year-old former state governor who is known as a political operator and deal maker, has been named secretary of the interior, a post that will play a key role in security matters.
Pena Nieto has also promised to push for reforms that could bring major new private investment into Petroleos Mexicanos, or Pemex, the crucial but struggling state-owned oil industry. Such changes that have been blocked for decades by nationalist suspicion of foreign meddling in the oil business.