Rival protesters clash as anger flares about Mexican candidate accused of rape


SENSITIVE MATERIAL. THIS IMAGE MAY OFFEND OR DISTURB A protester who was injured during a scuffle with supporters of local ruling party politician Felix Salgado, who is facing allegations of rape, holds a sign near an event attended by Mexico's President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and Argentina's President Alberto Fernandez to commemorate National Flag Day in Iguala, Guerrero State, Mexico February 24, 2021. REUTERS/Henry Romero

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Scuffles broke out between rival protesters in the southern Mexican city of Iguala on Wednesday amid growing anger over President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's backing of a gubernatorial candidate accused of rape.

Video shared on social media showed one woman hitting another woman with a megaphone, bloodying her face, following a joint event between Lopez Obrador and Argentina's president, Alberto Fernandez.

The injured protester, Yolitzin Jaimes, was demonstrating against Felix Salgado, a gubernatorial candidate for the southern state of Guerrero and a member of Lopez Obrador's ruling MORENA party.

"We came here to protest peacefully, to ask the president to break the patriarchal pact," Jaimes told Reuters by telephone.

Calls have been growing in recent weeks for the president to drop his support for Salgado over the rape allegation. Earlier this month, a group of female MORENA lawmakers, party members and supporters published a letter urging the party leadership to reconsider Salgado's candidacy.

Lopez Obrador says the calls are politically motivated.

The Guerrero vote is part of a raft of elections taking place in June that will determine whether MORENA and its allies can retain control of the lower house of Congress.

(Reporting by Laura Gottesdiener; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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