Dec. 4 - Mexico's leftist Party of the Democratic Revolution leads protests against President Enrique Pena Nieto's moves to open up state-controlled oil sector. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Leaders and supporters of the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) rallied in downtown Mexico on Tuesday (November 3), protesting President Enrique Pena Nieto's moves to liberalise the petroleum industry. The protest comes days after the PRD, the country's main leftist party, pulled out of a cross-party pact on energy and economic reform. Their exit heightened opposition to the energy revamp. Pena Nieto has proposed offering investors profit-sharing contracts to try and reverse a slump in crude output, which is down by a quarter since 2004. PRD leaders called on the government not to reform the constitution, fearing sovereignty over natural resources will be lost. They say any reforms to the petroleum industry must be put before the people. Mexico's left has promised to fight any moves by the government to hand over the country's oil to foreigners and Pena Nieto has stressed that his government was committed to retaining ownership of petroleum resources. The energy bill is a cornerstone of a broader drive for reforms extending from telecoms to education that Pena Nieto hopes will improve the Mexican economy, which has long been lagging behind that of others in Latin America.