This video does not show a protest against Pakistan Army
Clip actually from pro-democracy protests in Mexico in February 2023
Claim: A video shows supporters of Imran Khan protesting against the Pakistan Army.
Fact: The clip is unrelated to Pakistan. It actually shows a pro-democracy protest held in Mexico City, Mexico, in February 2023.
On 1 March 2023, Facebook user ‘सनातनी हिंदू’ posted a video (archive) claiming it showed supporters of former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan protesting against the military.
The video is captioned, in Hindi, as follows:
“अब होगा गृह युद्ध जिहादी देश में इस्लामाबाद में इमरान खान के सपोर्ट वालों की भीड़ की ताजा वीडियो देखो पाकिस्तान की फौज के खिलाफ ऐसा माहौल पहले कभी नही बना । आपस में ही लड़ मरेंगे ये जिहादी। जय सनातन
[Now civil war will happen in Jihadi country. Watch the latest video of the crowd of Imran Khan’s supporters in Islamabad. Never before has such an atmosphere been created against Pakistan’s army. These Jihadis will die fighting among themselves. Jai Sanatan]”
Fact or Fiction?
Soch Fact Check used reverse image search tools to ascertain that the video, while recent, is not from Pakistan but from Mexico.
Videos from the protest are available on the Facebook page ‘Santuario de la Santa Veracruz, Diócesis Chilpancingo-Chilapa Taxco, Gro’, a church in Mexico here (archive), here (archive), and here (archive). The same clip, with a filter, is available here (archive), with the text “Desde Palacio con Alejandro Aguirre [From the palace with Alejandro Aguirre]” overlayed on it.
The first couple of sentences heard in the video translate to: “The courage was so much that his hands began to shake. Several of those present there recalled when the president said that if his adversaries filled the Plaza de la Constitución, he would definitely go to his ranch in Chiapas.”
Alejandro Aguirre G is a journalist reporting from Veracruz who posted about the protest on their Twitter account here (archive), as did Gerardo Duque Lárraga, a reporter from San Luis Potosí who captioned their post as: “Fuera López! ¡Fuera López! [Out Lopez! Get out Lopez!].”
El coraje del presidente era tanto que las manos comenzaron a temblarle, y tuvieron que movilizarse sus médicos…
— Alejandro Aguirre G. (@aaguirre_g) March 2, 2023
Similarly, Frente Nacional Ciudadano — a collective of civil society organisations and citizen leaders fighting the government of Mexico President Andrés Manuel López Obrador — also shared the video from the protest here. The caption accompanying the post is as follows:
“Es la esencia, es el grito que no puede callar el gobierno federal, los medios de comunicación vendidos y los políticos traidores. Exigimos la renuncia del dictador López Obrador (26/02/2023)
[It is the essence, it is the cry that cannot be silenced by the federal government, the sold media and the traitorous politicians. We demand the resignation of the dictator López Obrador (02/26/2023)]”
The demonstrations, which were held late February 2023, highlighted “what protesters say are government attempts to undermine the electoral authorities”, a report (archive) said, adding that the number of participants varied, with organisers saying 500,000 people attended and local government putting the number at 90,000.
One of the largest gatherings of protesters was at Zocalo square — Plaza de la Constitución — in Mexico City, Mexico’s capital, where “government moves to shrink the electoral authority” was condemned after the country’s Congress revamping an independent body known as the Instituto Nacional Electoral (INE), or National Electoral Institute (INE), which Obrador has termed “corrupt and inefficient”, according to a report (archive).
PHOTOS: A massive crowd fills Mexico City's Zocalo square to voice opposition to electoral reforms championed by President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador@AFPphoto
📸 Nicolas Asfouri pic.twitter.com/rTDp2Em0vB
— AFP News Agency (@AFP) February 26, 2023
Soch Fact Check has also identified a few markers — such as two shops, Bizzarro and Men’s Fashion — that identify the location of the video and may be matched with those on Google Maps and Google Street View.
Photographers Luis Cortes, Quetzalli Nicte-Ha, Daniel Becerril, and Gustavo Graf of Reuters Pictures, as well as Daniel Cardenas and Alejandro Cegarra of Getty Images, took photographs that show multiple identifying markers from the protest site.
Conclusion: The clip actually shows a pro-democracy protest held in Mexico City, Mexico, in February 2023. It has no link to Pakistan.
Background image in cover photo: Sameer Akhtari