5,500 Mexicans march in favor of new airport

The call for a pacific demonstration, in favor of Mexico's New International Airport (NAIM), began weeks ago through social media; their opposers have labeled as "fifís", an elite

5,500 Mexicans march in favor of new airport
Demonstrators in favor of the new airport – Photo: Germán/EL UNIVERSAL
English 11/11/2018 15:09 EL UNIVERSAL in English/Gretel Morales Mexico City Alberto Morales Actualizada 12:08
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The call for a demonstration in favor of Mexico's New International Airport, NAIM, began a couple of weeks ago, through social media. The demonstration comes weeks after the President-elect, Andrés Manuel López Obrador called for a referendum to decide whether or not the Texcoco project would be canceled.

The project, now extinct, has sparked division among Mexicans.  Demonstrators claim that Mexico needs a world-class airport, which would also create thousands of new jobs, and attract investors and tourists. Protesters also claim that the public consultation was “rigged” and that the cancellation of the airport could halt economic development. They urged the President-elect to reconsider the decision and continue with the project. According to the organizers, the march gathered around 20,000 people, nevertheless, Mexico City's authorities (SSPCDMX) informed there were around 5,500 attendees. 

Images shared on social media show the protestors marching through Mexico City:


During and after the protest, the demonstrators explained that they are against rigged referendums, "dictatorial moves", and authoritarianism; and in favor of democracy, freedom of expression, economic development, among other reasons. 

Meanwhile, their opposers have emphasized the demonstrators' alleged social status, labeling them as an "elite", questioning them on their participation on demonstrations against femicide and the enforced disappearance of 43 students, among other social issues. The biggest question posed by the opposers is if the demonstration is against the public consultation and López Obrador, or in favor of the Texcoco airport. 

The demonstration quickly became viral in Mexico and was branded the Marcha Fifí, the posh demonstration, by its opposers. Social media is the perfect example of the division, as thousands of people mocked the protestors, who are called, or call themselves, the “fifís”, that is, part of the Mexican elite or the upper-middle-class. Memes such as this have been shared on social media, days prior to the demonstration: 

Besides the memes and jokes on social media, an aspect that surprised many was the fact that two women were spotted carrying signs with discriminatory and xenophobic messages. Even John M. Ackerman, a renown writer, activist, and professor, criticized the signs:

On the other hand, some of the strongest claims against the Texcoco airport were that it would have a negative impact on the environment, that it would be too expensive to maintain, that the drained lake wasn't ideal to build an airport; one of its main opposers was shot dead outside his home. 

And although the protest sparked quarrels, insults, and memes, it is important to emphasize that this demonstration is a clear sign that Mexicans are getting more and more involved in politics.


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