The Mexican Bishops’ Conference has criticized presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador for carrying out his dispute of the July 2nd election results on the street instead of in the courts.

“We are surprised that candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has exceeded his public commitment to not affect third parties and continues seeking to resolve on the street that which should be resolved, according to the law, in the Federal Election Tribunal,” the bishops said in a statement signed by the Secretary General of the Conference, Bishop Carlos Aguiar Retes.

The bishops expressed their regret that because of the results of the recent elections the country has witnessed “aggression and the lack of respect for the constitutional right of free transit.”   They called on Lopez Obrador to carry out his dispute in a different fashion, as “the immense majority of Mexicans” abhor verbal or physical violence and simply desire peace, unity and reconciliation.

“As men and women we are called to seek out and build up peace and to find pathways to dialogue in order to live in unity,” they added.  “Imposing one’s ideas on others leads to a refusal to compromise and a lack of respect.  From such attitudes come hatred, animosity, discord and contempt for others,” the bishops warned.

This contrasts with the “politically mature attitude” of the ruling party candidate, Felipe Calderon, the bishops continued, who has been proclaimed winner of the elections by the Federal Electoral Institute (FEI).  “We ask him to continue down this path” of respect for the law and institutions, they added.

After Calderon was declared winner by the FEI, Lopez Obrador announced he would challenge the results and demand a full recount.  He has since organized mass street protests in order to put pressure on the Federal Election Tribunal.