Protests ahead of Pena Nieto inauguration

2012-12-01 23:00

Mexico City - Hundreds of protesters clashed with police outside Mexico's congress on Saturday ahead of Enrique Pena Nieto's presidential inauguration, throwing firebombs while officers responded with tear gas.

At least five police officers were injured as around 500 protesters, many wearing masks, threw objects and Molotov cocktails outside the congress, which was surrounded by metal barricades.

One officer was hit in the face by a stone while two others were struck by a Molotov cocktail. They were taken away in ambulances.

Two more officers were carried out by their colleagues, apparently affected by the tear gas.

"We weren't expecting something so violent," an officer said.

Pena Nieto's presidency will mark the return of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, which ruled Mexico with an authoritarian hand for 71 years until it lost the 2000 presidential election.

The second-place finisher in this year's election, leftist leader Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, has refused to concede defeat, charging that the PRI bought millions of votes. The electoral court threw out his claims.