A white coffin that carries the body of a 16-year-old adolescent, who was attacked by a man, is carried by her schoolmates in the State of Mexico; a half-sunk motorcycle taxi in the waters of Holbox as a witness to the brutal murder of a woman whose body was found with her hands tied and her breasts amputated; a video showing two police officers who subdue a Salvadoran immigrant to death on the streets of Tulum. These are the three images that in the last week have shown, once again, that in Mexico violence against women is still far from over. The three events have caused outrage among Mexicans, who while digesting the harshness of one of the cases begin to learn of the next. The frequency with which these crimes occur prevents all the stories from being told and generates a kind of anesthesia among the population in which a femicide occurs one day and the next: what for other societies is an exception and a very serious fault , for Mexico it is the daily bread.
The outrage exists, but the page soon turns in a country that in the last year has accumulated 969 women victims of femicide, the second with the most crimes of this type in Latin America after Brazil. The custom consumes not only the average Mexican, but also the judicial system that does little to resolve these cases – if one arrives at their door – as well as the government discourse that from the National Palace is ignored with the victims and combatants against those who claim. . Wendy Yoselin, 16, left her home for a walk with her boyfriend a week ago in Xonacatlán, State of Mexico. He never came back. Karla M, 29, went to work on her motorcycle taxi on the island of Holbox, in the Mexican Caribbean. His relatives found his remains. Victoria Esperanza Salazar, 36, left El Salvador to seek job opportunities in the Mexican Caribbean. The video of his body under the knees of a police officer in Tulum reached his country through social networks.
To these three names are added those of thousands of women who left home – probably with fear – and who did not return alive. Victims of homicides perpetrated by men, whose argument is that they were women. The names of many of them arrived at the gates of the National Palace on March 5 from the hand of civil society, in response to the decision of the Mexican Government to install a metal wall to protect the building from the protests of the International Day of the woman. The Mexican president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, meanwhile, has continued with a speech that disdains the feminist struggle and calls it a “simulation” at the service of other men, “his conservative adversaries.” The women’s argument was more powerful than the president’s speech: a wall of more than 100 meters full of white letters with the thousands of unsolved cases.
The same place where women protested three weeks ago, this Monday morning became the headquarters of the United Nations Generation Equality Forum, a conference to calibrate the global agenda to reduce the inequality in which women live. The voices of António Guterres, secretary of the UN; Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Director of UN Women; and of the French president, Emmanuel Macron, in favor of equality with the recognition of a historical lag for women contrasted with the speech of President López Obrador. The Mexican insisted on his government agenda – the fight against poverty and corruption – rather than recognizing the problems associated with violence against women in Mexico. “It cannot be separated, seen as one thing, as a movement detached from the fact that a political-economic system prevails in the world that oppresses, exploits, humiliates men and women,” he said in his speech. López Obrador shows that he lacks a diagnosis in which inequality can be separated by gender and, even less so, that indicates the least favorable conditions for women.
The president has boasted of a joint Congress, when the same legislators have denounced that the steps where crucial legislative decisions are made are monopolized by men. “The agreements are made in the canteens. And a woman does not enter there. When they return, everything is already decided, ”Deputy Martha Tagle told this newspaper in 2019. López Obrador has delivered in a speech a panorama that is different from what happens every day in the streets of Mexico, a kind of gaslighting –The alteration of the perception of reality towards Mexican women– easily removable. “There is no tolerance for machismo, nor is there impunity, hate crimes and femicides are punished. Women in our country are free and every day that passes we want them to be freer and, above all, that inequality ends, not only between men and women, but also between social classes ”, he continued.
The president’s words do not fit with the data that indicate that 21% of women were unemployed during the pandemic, being the sector of the population most affected, according to the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (Inegi). Less with the fact that women now dedicate four more hours to unpaid domestic work than men, and not with the salary gap that the same National Institute for Women (Inmujeres) places at 19%. Mexico is the country where 10 women a day are murdered and 97% of femicides remain unsolved in court. Where 4 out of 10 adult women have suffered some type of sexual violence during the last six months of 2019, according to a report by the organization México Evalúa.
In front of international eyes – the UN forum and the pronouncement of the Salvadoran president, Nayib Bukele, regarding the murder of Victoria Salazar – López Obrador acknowledged that the immigrant “was brutally treated and murdered.” “It is a fact that fills us with sorrow, pain and shame,” said the president. It was the first time that the The morning –The morning conference of the Mexican president– opens a gap to condemn in the voice of López Obrador the violence against women. A first regret that still does not reach the serious dimension of the matter that affects half of the country’s population. A systemic problem and a pending account for any president of Mexico for more than two decades.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.