Protests turn ugly in Mexico City on Peña Nieto's presidential anniversary

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Protesters smashed up shops and clashed with riot police in Mexico City on the second anniversary of Enrique Peña Nieto's presidency amidst rising tensions over the abduction and apparent massacre of 43 trainee teachers.

Brandishing bats and fire bombs, masked protesters attacked banks and restaurants along the capital's iconic Reforma boulevard, where thousands had gathered to demand an end to impunity and justice for the missing students.

Scores of riot police were deployed to restore law and order to Mexico City's CBD, but authorities struggled to control the unruly crowd. A number of injuries were reported by paramedics on hand.

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Protests Turn Ugly in Mexico City on Pena Nieto's Presidential Anniversary
Protests Turn Ugly in Mexico City on Pena Nieto's Presidential Anniversary


The disappearances of the students have been the toughest challenge yet to face Peña Nieto and more than two months on since the disappearance of the students in Iguala, Guerrero, many have blamed the president for the feared massacre. Earlier this month Peña Nieto, in an effort to defuse anger, vowed to introduce constitutional reforms to simplify Mexico's chaotic police structure and stop collusion between officials and drug gangs.

Peña Nieto took office two years ago vowing to restore order in Mexico, where about 100,000 people have died in violence linked to organized crime since 2007. His two-year anniversary in office comes as Peña Nieto's approval rating tumbles to just 39 percent, according to Mexico City daily Reforma.

It was the lowest approval rating of a president recorded since 1996 when then President Ernesto Zedillo was struggling to contain a financial and economic crisis.

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