The Student Movement in the (Mexican) Democratic Process

Wednesday, July 16, 2014: 4:06 PM
Room: 501
Oral Presentation
Guadalupe OLIVIER , Politica Educativa, procesos institucionales y gestion, Universidad Pedagógica Nacional-Mexico, México, D.F., Mexico
Sergio TAMAYO , Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, Mexico DF, Mexico
Recent waves of global movements agree, among others, on three demands: to abandon neoliberal policies, media democratization, and advance the public nature of education. Mexican student movement is part of this trend.

In the democratic transition -from a seven decades hegemonic party rule to a right wing government- Mexican citizens believed that the presidential alternation, reached in 2000, would be the alternative to authoritarianism and for an institutional renewal. However, the young democracy was soon eroded with electoral frauds and social unrests. 2012 elections erased any possibility of improvement, when the old party burst with renewed signs of corporatism and complicity with the media.

 In this context, neoliberal education policies fragmented the youth access to higher education. The expansion of the private sector in this field was the cornerstone of social polarization, because it deepened inequalities both in opportunities for access to education and the struggle for democracy. Part of the explanation is a differential educational discourse, between public and private. This makes perceptions on democracy and social justice impact contradictory the identity of student groups.

 Thus, in the middle of the election campaign the student movement “#yosoy132” emerged. It claimed the defense of democracy and faced the imposition of the old- regime candidate, due to his intricate web of complicity. The movement, originated in private universities and extended to the public, could articulate values of social justice and democratic liberties: radical transformation of mass media, for better education and against neoliberal economic model. It was expressed in a wide repertoire of demonstrations, rallies and plural networks with working and middle classes.

The differential impact of this movement on the national politics and media democratization, based on the previously discussed, is in the present debate contradictory. These are the aspects that will be developed in this paper.