Mexican women protest feminicide as president warns against violence

MEXICO CITY — An International Women’s Day rally in Mexico on Tuesday drew thousands of protesters, with crowds marching against the vio...


MEXICO CITY — An International Women’s Day rally in Mexico on Tuesday drew thousands of protesters, with crowds marching against the violence and marching past the capital’s presidential palace and national monuments that had been cordoned off by huge metal fences amid fears of unrest.

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who has been accused of not doing enough to stem the rise of feminicidesurged calm while warning that protests could turn violent.

Mexico City police said they seized Molotov cocktails, weapons such as bats and hammers and fireworks from protesters in the afternoon. Local media reported that two protesters were injured after swinging at a glass bus stop, which crashed into them.

Authorities had erected a protective metal barrier around the National Palace, the seat of government where the presidential family lives, and other historic buildings ahead of the protests.

Later Tuesday evening, video footage shared online showed a fire at the gate of the government palace in Monterrey, the capital of Nuevo León state, after the marchers entered the building, according to local reports. There was no immediate official confirmation of any damage. Riot police and firefighters were deployed on the site.

Protesters wrote “FEMICIDE MEXICO” in towering white letters on the black metal cordon in front of the National Palace, which faces the main Zocalo plaza, the scene of many major protests.

Last year, women marching on International Women’s Day clashed with the police to the barricades surrounding the National Palace. Protesters attempted to demolish a metal wall installed to protect government property from vandalism, prompting officers to fire pepper spray.

Mexico recorded 969 femicides last year, up slightly from 949 in 2020, according to government figures. Activists say the true numbers are most likely much higher, and some estimate that 10 women a day are killed because of their gender.

A group of protesters chanted “Women united, will never be defeated” as they arrived near the National Palace on Tuesday, waving white flags. Others, wearing purple bandanas for the region’s feminist movement or green for abortion rights, marched down one of Mexico City’s main avenues holding banners and posters with feminist slogans.

Frida Moreno, 21, a student who said abusive teachers scarred her upbringing, said she felt she had a duty to walk so other young girls would be spared similar experiences.

“Although I feel privileged because I live in a safe area, no one can guarantee that one day I will not disappear,” Ms. Moreno said, on the verge of tears.

Mr López Obrador, who has appointed women to half of his ministerial posts, dismissed claims by activists that he was not interested in fighting feminicide, saying progress had been made in defending women. womens rights.

Asked Tuesday morning if the protests could turn violent, as a government official had predicted, the president nodded.

“There is an infiltration of the feminist movement in general by conservative groups,” he said, noting that it was wrong “to use violence for political purposes.”

The Mexico City government had said it would deploy dozens of paramedics as well as an all-female police force.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Mexican women protest feminicide as president warns against violence
Mexican women protest feminicide as president warns against violence
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