A Women’s March in Mexico City Turns Violent, With at Least 81 Injured [Video]

A Women’s March in Mexico City Turns Violent, With at Least 81 Injured [Video]
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A Women’s March in Mexico City Turns Violent, With at Least 81 Injured [Video]

A Women’s March in Mexico City Turns Violent, With at Least 81 Injured [Video]

MEXICO CITY — Tons of of ladies marched on Mexico’s seat of presidency Monday, some carrying their kids, others blowtorches, bats and hammers, ready for a confrontation they hoped would pressure the nation to deal with rampant violence towards ladies.

The Worldwide Women’s Day protest was fueled by anger at President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who has backed a politician accused by a number of ladies of rape in a rustic that suffers a few of the world’s worst charges of gender violence. Regardless of a rift inside the governing social gathering over the difficulty, Mr. López Obrador has supported the politician forward of June elections.

Because the protesters gathered across the nationwide palace — Mr. Lopez Obrador’s residence and the seat of presidency — their ire was targeted on a steel fence that had been erected to guard the constructing from being overrun. Ladies sporting black balaclavas pulled down elements of the barricade because the police fired volleys of flash-bang grenades into the gang, inflicting a number of small stampedes.

No less than 62 police and 19 civilians had been injured by late Monday night, in line with Mexico City’s safety department.

Whereas Mr. López Obrador has portrayed his presidency as a part of a populist motion to carry up the marginalized in Mexico, ladies activists say the president has in truth been ignoring the wants of half the inhabitants. The president insisted on Monday that his authorities is dedicated to equality, however critics argue that little has been completed about violence towards ladies throughout his time in energy.

Within the roughly two years since Mr. López Obrador took workplace, the charges of violence towards ladies haven’t modified considerably. Final 12 months, a median of 10 ladies had been killed in Mexico each day, and there have been some 16,000 instances of rape. An investigation by one information website, Animal Politico, discovered that from 2014 to 2018, solely about 5 % of all sexual assault allegations, together with rape, resulted in a felony sentence.

It’s that impunity that has enraged Mexico’s feminists, main some teams to embrace violence as a tactic to pressure the nation to concentrate to their calls for.

“We battle right now so we don’t die tomorrow,” ladies chanted Monday as they marched throughout the town to the nationwide palace. Others declared, “The fault is just not mine, not due to the place I used to be or what I used to be sporting.”

Over the weekend, activists spray-painted the barricade across the palace with the names of ladies killed by their husbands, boyfriends or supposed admirers.

Ivette Granados, 49, and her daughter Maria Puente, 16, attended Monday’s protest collectively. They stated they had been angered by their day by day battle towards the sexual abuse many say is each lady’s frequent expertise in Mexico. Mom and daughter took turns itemizing off the assaults they stated they’d suffered through the years: being grabbed in the road, on the metro or at a celebration, and males flashing their genitals at them in public.

Whereas Ms. Granados didn’t agree with utilizing violence as a tactic to additional the feminist motion, she lamented that it appeared to be the one factor that made the nation take discover of their yearslong battle for equality.

“I’ve already seen it all through historical past in the peaceable marches of ladies — they didn’t give any outcomes,” stated Ms. Granados. “I feel that this stuff make governments and other people flip round. And even when I don’t agree, life has proven me that solely then do they flip round to see these conditions.”

This 12 months’s protests, which cumulatively drew a number of thousand ladies, had been a lot smaller than these in 2020, when tens of 1000’s turned out.

Some ladies pointed to the coronavirus because the trigger for the smaller turnout.

Final 12 months, protesters crammed the capital’s streets after a number of grisly assaults towards ladies sparked public outrage, together with the killing of a 7-year-old lady who was discovered disemboweled in a physique bag.

A day later, tens of 1000’s of ladies stayed dwelling from work in a nationwide strike to protest the violence.

Mr. López Obrador has repeatedly minimized the protest motion or accused feminist teams of being politically motivated.

And he has additional incensed many ladies in Mexico by refusing to sentence a number one member of his personal social gathering who has been accused of sexual assault by a number of ladies. The candidate, Félix Salgado Macedonio, is operating for governor in the state of Guerrero, pending a celebration ballot to verify his candidacy.

On the morning of Monday’s protest, the president once more accused conservative teams of co-opting the feminist motion, and claimed that ladies’s marches had begun solely after he took energy. He pointed to his personal authorities as a dedication to his battle for equality, the primary cupboard in Mexican historical past to have half the seats crammed by ladies.

Mr. López Obrador defended the wall his authorities erected across the nationwide palace. And he stated that whereas he supported the feminist motion, he wouldn’t tolerate the violence or the vandalism seen through the ladies’s march final 12 months.

Ms. Granados and her daughter stated the wall felt out of conserving for a president who says he’s a person of the folks.

“Look, I don’t conform to destroy monuments or injury, proper?” Ms. Granados stated. “However additionally it is clear to me {that a} monument is just not value greater than the lifetime of a lady.”

Her daughter, Ms. Puente, piped up.

The wall, she stated, “is a contradiction.”

Ana Sosa in Mexico City contributed reporting.

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