Mexican candidate fears return to violence

Presidential candidate Felipe Calderon suggested some are seeking to return to violence in Mexico, after a group identified as supporters of the leftist Democratic Revolution Party heckled, shoved and tossed eggs during his campaign event.

While the incident appeared minor, nobody was hurt and the meeting went ahead as planned, the specter of intolerance and violence has hung heavy over Mexico since last week's bloody clash between police and protesters outside Mexico City.

"Mexico has turned its back on the violent ones, (but) it appears that someone wants to return to violence and confrontation among Mexicans," the government news agency quoted Calderon, of the conservative National Action Party, or PAN, as saying Thursday.

Television footage showed counter-demonstrators carrying a yellow banner, the color of the Democratic Revolution Party, or PRD, trying to interrupt Calderon's meeting by shouting, trying to block the candidate's bus and pushing people at the rally.

"Don't allow yourself to be provoked ... we peaceful ones will win," Calderon told supporters during the incident in Tabasco, the home state of PRD candidate, leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

PAN leader Manuel Espino said the incident reflected directly on Lopez Obrador, claiming "he could take the social peace and tranquility and turn it into a state of violence."

The third candidate in the race, Roberto Madrazo of the former ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party, also condemned the incident.

"Andres Manuel's supporters came to bother Felipe's people, and that's not good," Madrazo said. "Today it was just shouting and shoving, but who knows what could happen tomorrow if they keep fighting,"reports the AP.

I.L.