Women’s March Takes Mexico City on International Women’s Day
By KELIN DILLON
More than 75,000 women took to the streets of Mexico City in protest of violence against women on Tuesday, March 8 – International Women’s Day – in what’s become a requisite march for the country’s feminists on the global holiday, commonly known in the nation as ‘8M’.
While government officials like Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) and Mexico City Government Secretary Martí Batres respectively predicting the protestors’ wish “to vandalize the National Palace and the Cathedral to create an image of a Mexico on fire” and propensity to turn “very violent” by the march’s end, the protests are not without reason. Mexico boasts one of the highest rates of femicide and gender-based violence in the world.
The feminist protestors did not shy away from this disheartening fact, beginning the protest by launching a blimp over Mexico City in remembrance of victims of femicide while highlighting that 10 women are killed per day in the country on average.
Anticipating an eventful day, the government deployed 3,100 policewomen to patrol the Zocalo, the heart of the capital’s downtown, ahead of the march, similarly placing metal fences around the National Palace, the city and its monuments as deterrents against potential vandalism or violence. For the part of the Mexico City government, city officials urged the march to take place with the guarantee of “the healthy coexistence of people who will participate in the demonstration.”
Before the march hit full swing, Batres announced that a number of molotov cocktails had been found and seized by the Secretariat of Citizen Security (SSC), later followed by the seizure of hammers, a pipe, a bat and other blunt weaponry, while a policewoman was hit with an ice pick as the protestors made their way through the capital with the march eventually filling the Zócalo to its capacity.
The Mexico City official later announced that 25 people had been injured throughout the day, though Batres said that the large majority of the protestors had demonstrated peacefully.