Mexican Protest Movement Targets Televisa Network

Activists accuse broadcaster of manipulating public opinion.

MEXICO CITY -- Activists in Mexico will block access to Televisa stations on Friday in protest of the network's "biased" coverage of a recent presidential election.

The protesters are demanding "democratization" of Mexico's powerful media companies. Televisa, the nation's dominant broadcaster, has become a main target of a growing protest movement due to reports that the network allegedly received millions in payments in exchange for favorable coverage of Enrique Pena Nieto, Mexico's president-elect.

Further complicating matters, Pena Nieto rival candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is challenging the election results before the Supreme Court based on widespread vote-buying allegations. 

An assembly of some 300 social organizations initially was calling on its supporters to "take over" Televisa headquarters and some of its 250-plus affiliate stations across the nation. However, here in Mexico City at least, the rhetoric has been toned down after activists this week agreed to stage a non-violent, "symbolic" blockade of Televisa. 

It remains unclear if supporters in other Mexican states got the memo emphasizing non-violent demonstrations. 

The 24-hour blockade deliberately coincides with opening day of the London Olympics; the olympics are always a strong revenue draw for the Mexican television duopoly of Televisa and TV Azteca

A Televisa source said the company is taking no additional security measures for the Mexico City blockade.

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