Women’s day: Mexico barrier turned into women’s memorial
Fencing erected to guard Mexico’s National Palace before a planned march to mark International Women’s Day has been became a memorial.
The names of many victims of femicides – murders of girls due to their gender – are painted on the metal fencing.
The three-metre-high (9.8ft) barrier was put up to guard the palace “from vandalism”, the govt said.
Women’s groups say the govt doesn’t do enough to combat femicides.
They also criticised President Andrés Manuel López Obrador for ordering the National Palace and therefore the Palace of Fine Arts to be surrounded by barriers, asking what he as scared of .
The president responded by saying that the barriers were put up “not out of fear, but to stop provocations and to guard historic buildings”.
“Last time around, bombs were thrown against this historic building,” he said, pertaining to protests over the brutal murder of a seven-year-old girl in February 2020 during which slogans were sprayed on to the walls of the National Palace and petrol bombs lobbed against a door.
The president added women had the proper to protest, but he said there was “much provocation, many of us infiltrate [the protests] and seek to try to to damage, they use violence as a sort of protest and throw Molotov cocktails, and that we don’t need anyone to urge injured”.
He also said he was “not a male chauvinist”, in response to criticism by women who say he has ignored the matter of violence against women.
Women’s rights activists say they need to draw attention to the many women that are killed per annum in Mexico. Government figures suggest a minimum of 939 women were victims of femicide in 2020.
We women want to invite justice which people understand, which the president, who lives here, knows that we’re fighting because they’re killing us,” one activist told Reuters press agency .
Mexico City officials said thousands of police, including 2,000 female officers, would be deployed across the capital before the planned marches on Monday.
Women’s groups are planning activities across the country. In Ciudad Juarez , a city infamous for the high number of girls who have gone missing from there over the years, relatives of the disappeared delayed pink crosses with the slogan “Not one more” in protest over the weekend.