Overcoming Femicides and Gender-violences in Mexico for a Better Tomorrow
Gender inequality and violence against women are exacerbating in Mexico. In 2019, 3825 women lost their lives because of assaults, and in them, around 1000 women died because of femicide. Femicide refers to the “killing of women by men.” There has been a staggering increase in the number of femicides occurring in Mexico in the recent years. As per the research conducted by different organizations, about ten women get killed every week in Mexico because of femicide.
#Niunamenas – A movement to curb violence against women
Different feminist organizations in Mexico take initiatives to overcome the injustices confronted by women. #Niunamenos is one such movement that raises voices against femicides, sexual torture, and gender violence. Susana Chaias, a poet, coined Ni Una Menos, which means “Not One (woman) Less.” She created it during a violent outbreak in Ciudad Juarez in 1995.
#Niunamenos became a movement against gender violence in 2016 after several protests occurred in 40 Mexican cities. These events happened as a revolt after the death of seven women. After these incidents, #Niunamenosattained a wider social media presence too. Currently, #Niunamenos has become a chant against the oppressions confronted by women.
#Niunamenos is a protest of great significance in Mexico, Argentina, Chile, and Peru. Today, #Niunamenos conducts many initiatives to ensure women’s safety.
Struggles and Demonstrations in 2020 before Cancun Protest
In Mexico, there have been several strikes and marches to reduce violence against women. However, the number of injustices faced by women continues to increase with every passing year. Akin to #Niunamenos, many other feminist groups work on empowering women.
In March 2020, as part of International Women’s Day, there was a two-day protest. There was a march from the Revolution Monument to the Constitution Plaza. Eighty-thousand women took part wearing purple clothes to show their support. It was a movement conducted as part of #Niunamenos.
On March 9, 2020, there was a strike where most women employees in Mexico took the day off. Because of this, there was an economic impact of USD 290 million. It was known as #Adaywithoutus. It was a campaign against femicide. It was also striving forward to ensure freedom and safety for Mexican women.
The primary reason behind the two-day protest was the femicide of two girls. They included a 25-year-old girl, Ingrid Escamilla, and a 7-year-old girl, Cecilia Aldright. The way Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador handled domestic violence, also discontented Mexican women.
Even though the movement tried to reduce femicides in Mexico, several cases of injustice happened. El Sol de Mexico presented data on the same. According to them, during the two-day protest against femicide, 11 women became victims of it.
#Niunamenos protestors took over the headquarters of the National Human Rights Commission. It happened a few days before Mexico’s Independence Day.
The protesters turned the building into a shelter for the victims of gender-based assaults. On September 15, strikes took place in various parts of Mexico against the injustices suffered by women. Chihuahua, Quintana Roo, and Cuernavaca are some cities where protests occurred. The principal reason behind these events was the Mexican government’s inability to guarantee security to women.
These are some movements and strikes that took place before the Cancun Protest in Mexico. They have a tremendous impact on the problems confronted by women, especially femicide. Even though many women are coming forward, there seems to be an abuse of power. Because of this, several women continue to face injustices in Mexico.
Cancun Protest – A struggle to curb femicides in Mexico
Cancun is an enchanting location that attracts several thousand tourists every year. In Quintana Roo, Cancun had a feminist protest a few months back in November 2020. The reason that led to the protest was that three femicides occurred within 24 hours in Quintana Roo. Two of them happened in Cancun, and another one took place in Jose Maria Morelos. The bodies of these women showed signs of torture too. One of the women was a 20-year-old who went missing in the first week of November. However, authorities found her body two days later in a mutilated condition in a plastic bag.
Because of these disturbing cases of femicide, #Niunamenos and other feminist groups organized a protest to curb femicide incidents in Mexico. Around two thousand women marched towards the Cancun City building during the event. They were questioning these femicide events. The protesters burned documents and broke the windows of the Cancun City Building. As they were about to enter its premises, around fifty community officers came forward. They were wearing their uniforms with bullet-proof vests and carrying weapons (including A47 guns) with them. They opened fire, injuring many protesters, including young girls and women.
Officers also took place on rooftops and shot demonstrators from there. People present at the event stated the officers shut down the building’s main entrance. It was to prevent the protesters from leaving the place. Apart from that, the officers also confiscated the cameras and mobile phones of demonstrators and journalists. They also attacked them for recording the incident.
Because of the attacks, many protestors endured significant injuries. Journalists also confronted the assaults. Robert Béardd, from La Verdad, experienced severe shoulder damage, and Cecilia Solis, from Radio Turquese, suffered a foot injury.
After the protest in Cancun, the president stated that the government could no longer permit weapons and force during strikes. The governor of the Caribbean Coast State of Quintana Roo, Carlos Joaquin, transferred the blame to Cancun Municipal Police. Based on that, Mara Lezama, the mayor, dismissed the city police chief. However, there were several suggestions from feminist groups to remove the state police chief. However, it did not happen.
The events in Cancun and other parts of Mexico in 2020 depict the abuse of power and growing injustice against women. The government of Mexico has to take immediate and effective measures to reduce gender-violence and femicide. It is the right time to raise voices against these injustices to emancipate and empower Mexican women. #Niunamenos and other feminist organizations in Mexico have to receive more support from the people. So, why not join the change with no further delays?