Thousands of women took to the streets of the capital for the protest marking the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, making it the the latest in a series of large, rowdy marches over soaring rates of femicide and rape in Mexico.
On Monday (Nov 25) windows were smashed, glass panes of bus stops and advertising billboards shattered, barricades were torn down, and a bonfire was lit. Protesters clashed with riot police on Mexico City’s main avenue to protest Mexican authorities’ failure to stop a spiral of violence against women. Messages such as “How many more need to die?” were painted on monuments lining Paseo de la Reforma, the city’s most famous street.
This unrest comes despite the fact that Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum, an ally of leftist President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, recently declared a “gender violence alert” in the capital, paving the way for more funding and security and other emergency measures. Since 2007, 19 of Mexico’s 32 states have declared such alerts.
A protester from one of the deadliest states (for women) in Mexico, said she was skeptical the measure would change anything.
“In Mexico state, we’ve had a gender violence alert for four years running, and it hasn’t done anything. They keep killing women — It’s just a technique to appease us,”
said protestor Valeria Arevalo, 18.
A male protestor, Benjamin Vargas, carried a picture of his 22-year-old daughter, Sol, who was murdered last year along with his wife. The killer — allegedly Sol’s spurned admirer — then burned both bodies.
“It’s a step forward, but they need to do more… The situation for women is getting worse every day. It just doesn’t stop,”
According to Amnesty International, Mexico has the most femicides of any country in Latin America.
Two in three Mexican women say they have been victims of violence in some form, according to the national statistics institute, and more than nine women are murdered in Mexico every day.