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Last Updated: Wednesday, 2 August 2006, 17:10 GMT 18:10 UK
Mexico protests: Readers' experiences
A businessman passes by tents at Reforma, Mexico City
Commuters have been affected by the makeshift camp
Supporters of left-wing Mexican presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador have brought the centre of the capital Mexico City to a standstill.

Protesters have been camped out for two days on the city's main boulevard, Reforma, causing traffic chaos. It follows a massive march on the capital on Sunday to demand a recount of all the votes in the 2 July disputed presidential election.

BBC News website readers who have been taking part in the protests or have been affected by them have been describing their experiences.

JOSE LUIS NAVA HERNANDEZ, CUERNAVACA, MORELOS, MEXICO

My family and I travelled to Mexico City from Cuernavaca, 70km (43 miles) south of Mexico City, to march in support of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

There were hundreds of buses from all over Mexico, from states such as Morelos and Guerrero to towns like Cuautla, Taxco, Huitzuco, Cocula.

There were native people from various ethnic groups across the country, such as Triquis and Mixtecos.

Reader Sue Dinnem captured the massive street protests on Sunday

This was the biggest march I can ever remember in Mexico.

There were at least 2.5 million people along the eight-kilometre route from the National Auditorium to the main plaza, Zocalo - much more than 15 days ago, when we also marched through the city.

The march was well organised with people of all ages, babies in arms, older people in wheelchairs and many folk bands along the route.

All we are asking for is real democracy. We don't want an illegitimate or a puppet president.

Some 60 million of Mexicans are living in poverty. We want our voices to be heard.

SARAH KAY LAIRD, MEXICO CITY, MEXICO

The chaos these protests are causing is huge.

It started on Sunday with the massive march through the city centre. At that time I had no idea that the protesters were actually going to camp along Reforma.

Reforma is a very important street, full of hotels and financial institutions. By taking this street, they have effectively blocked off several routes from the north of the city to the south.

Tents in Zocalo, Mexico City
Zocalo Plaza has been transformed into a tent city
The protesters that are camping out are well organised. There are portable toilets, and many women have set up small kitchens.

The protesters pass their time playing dominoes, cards, football, watching television and listening to music.

I live in the north of the city and work in one of the streets behind Reforma.

I tried to drive to work on Monday, but after an hour and a half in traffic I had to turn back.

I have to start using public transport now, which will probably take me two hours each way.

If they decide not to recount the votes, I am sure that violence will follow
The money that this is costing the country is colossal. One TV news report suggested that the figure is in the range of 200m Mexican pesos ($18.3m) a day. The report also said that thousands of hotel room bookings had been cancelled.

While I do not support what Mr Lopez Obrador is doing, I feel that a recount of the votes would be the best solution.

This may take up to a five weeks to conduct, but I personally feel that the protesters will not move until this is done. So I am for a recount, immediately!

If they decide not to recount the votes, I am sure that violence will follow.

AMANDA HUROWITZ, GUANAJUATO, MEXICO

My husband and I attended the protests on Sunday.

We have attended many large demonstrations in the past and can safely say that we have never seen a demonstration this big.

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador meeting supporters
Blake Sifton took this picture of Mr Lopez Obrador meeting supporters
We watched the march all day long and the people did not stop coming.

It's hard to imagine that there weren't at least two million people there.

We saw the best indication of the number of people who travelled to the city for the protest on our overnight bus ride from Guanajuato to Mexico City.

Every rest stop as far as four hours' away from Mexico City was filled with buses headed for the rally.

Apart from some lorries, almost the only traffic on the highway was made up of buses travelling to the rally, festooned with Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's slogan: "Smile, we're going to win."

All amazing, and quite courageous.

RENE SANCHEZ VALLE, MEXICO CITY, MEXICO

I am sick and tired of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador not being able to accept defeat.

I am also disgusted with the federal government that does not do anything at all to stop his supporters from camping in our city's streets.

Protesters marching in Mexico City
Eider Vasconcelos sent us this picture of the mass demonstrations
Mexicans are getting fed up with this situation and even people who voted for Mr Lopez Obrador - of which I am not one - are regretting it now.

The problem is that the city is governed by Mr Lopez Obrador's party, and they are encouraging people to camp in the streets.

Traffic is a nightmare around that area of the city, as 1.5 million cars that normally pass through there daily have to take alternative routes.

The only thing I'm looking forward to is this being over and Mr Lopez Obrador being confirmed to have lost.

MARY-ELLEN, DISTRITO FEDERAL, MEXICO CITY, MEXICO

I live in Polanco, right by the road blockades on Reforma.

I commute to the outskirts of the city for work, and it turns out that the blockades actually make my commute easier, since there is no traffic coming up Reforma.

I wonder, however, if Mr Lopez Obrador is thinking about all of the street vendors I usually see by the Reforma-Periferico interchange.

They earn their living by providing breakfast to the many commuters, but since the majority of commuters are gone from these street, what are they to do now?

Given their social status these folks are most likely Mr Lopez Obrador supporters but I wonder how they feel about these acts of civil unrest and how it will impact upon them?




SEE ALSO
Mexico election protesters dig in
02 Aug 06 |  Americas
In pictures: Mexico protests
01 Aug 06 |  In Pictures



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