Calderon given Mexican Presidency amid widespread protests

In an unprecedented act, Mexico's President Elect Felipe Calderon received, for the first of two times, the Presidential Sash from outgoing President Vicente Fox at 12:01 am in the Presidential Palace. Calderon's second and official inauguration, as defined by the Mexican Constitution, took place this morning in Mexico's congress despite attempts by opposition parties to block the swearing-in ceremony.

Submitted by AnarchoProle on December 4, 2006

President Felipe Calderon and Vicente Fox had to force their way to the podium after a massive entourage of secret servicemen had to facilitate their entrance into congressional chambers. The ceremony lasted less than 5 minutes amidst shouts, , and chanting from congressional representatives. Legislators had already spent three days camped out in the halls of congress after opponents and supporters of Calderon scuffled earlier this week over control of the podium where the swearing-in took place. Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands protested in the streets of Mexico City today, still upset that votes in the hotly-contested presidential election were never recounted.

In Mexico, opposition lawmakers are vowing to physically block Felipe Calderon from being inaugurated today as Mexico's next president.

Calderon has been widely accused by supporters of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of stealing July's election. Lopez Obrador has refused to recognize the election results and claims that he is the legitimate president of Mexico. He is planning to lead a major protest in Mexico City today.

Early this morning outgoing Mexican president Vicente Fox transferred power to Calderon in a midnight ceremony at the presidential residence. Then Calderon addressed the nation.

Tension has been rising inside the Mexican Congress as well. On Tuesday supporters of Lopez Obrador and Calderon began fist-fighting on the floor on Congress. Injured lawmakers had to be carried out of the building.

Calderon's inauguration comes as tension remains high in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca where the federal police are attempting to crush a popular uprising. On Saturday police arrested over 150 protesters following a large protest march and more have been detained or disappeared since as police search for members of APPO, the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca. Several leaders of APPO have reportedly disappeared including a chief spokesperson Cesar Mateos Benitez. Meanwhile protesters have surrendered control of a university radio station that they had converted into Radio APPO.