‘We’re drained, indignant and mad’: 180,000 girls march in Mexico Metropolis | Girls’s Rights

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By noon on March 8, 2024, small teams of ladies wearing lilac, sporting purple bandanas tied round their wrists, hair and necks, began to congregate in Mexico Metropolis. Quickly they comprised an 180,000-strong crowd, marching and chanting collectively on Worldwide Girls’s Day.

The chants had been amplified by megaphones or voices directed upward, faces turned to the sky. With arms within the air, they yelled about their power in numbers, the dearth of police safety and their intent to struggle for his or her rights.

“No somos una, no somos diez! ¡Somos un chingo, cuéntanos bien!”
(“We aren’t one. We aren’t 10. We’re a s***load, rely us proper.”)

“There are such a lot of girls,” stated Ileana Alvarez Mendoza, 40, who attended the march together with her 10-year-old daughter, Emiliana Leyva Alvarez. “How can the federal government say we aren’t that many?”

Almost 10 girls had been killed day by day in Mexico in 2023: there have been greater than 2,500 feminine victims of murder and over 800 femicides, in accordance with the Secretary of Safety and Citizen Safety. In 2021, greater than 40 % of ladies over 15 had skilled some type of violence of their childhood, in accordance with Mexico’s Nationwide Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI).

A bunch of ladies along with the march close to Mexico Metropolis’s opera home, the Palacio de Bellas Artes, stood coated in streaks of purple paint, holding up indicators saying “Paint me when you’ve got been abused.”

A unending line waited patiently to take a flip with the paint brushes.

“¡La policía no me cuida! ¡Me cuidan mis amigas!”
(“The police don’t look out for me. My associates do.”)  

Mehida Perez Martínez, a 45-year-old from Cuernavaca, a city close to Mexico Metropolis, stated she was marching for her youngsters and for herself, explaining that she lives in a secure space in Mexico Metropolis however is “continually conscious of the boys surrounding me”.

“Anybody might be a predator and I can’t belief the police, particularly males,” stated the mom of three, who joined the Amnesty Worldwide contingent of ladies. Wearing a lilac tank high and baseball cap, she marched holding an indication that stated, “My mother taught me to struggle for my rights”.

“Our judicial system was created by males and is run by males. Even when I needed justice, I in all probability couldn’t entry it. Subsequently, I attempt to forestall violence and shield myself by avoiding locations and instances that might be harmful,” stated Perez.

Her concern is justified. Impunity for murder is round 94 %, confirmed a examine by the think-tank Mexico Evalua in 2021. Girls must be cautious of police in Mexico; a authorities examine launched in 2022 discovered that almost all of ladies who’re detained by the police have been abused, a 3rd of them sexually.

The march resulted in Mexico Metropolis’s central sq. — the Zocalo — that’s neglected by authorities buildings and the Metropolitan Cathedral. Because the sq. full of protesters, individuals sought aid from the scorching 31C-degree (89F-degree) warmth in small pockets of shade beneath tents run by road distributors providing cups of corn, sliced mangos and potato crisps drenched in lime and chili sauce. Sunstroke was the most typical grievance among the many 112 sufferers who obtained medical consideration in the course of the march.

Behind heavy-duty steel limitations with overhanging steel lips, a whole lot of police lined up, standing far sufficient again to keep away from the near-constant barrage of plastic cups, garbage, flashbangs and purple flares being lobbed by indignant protesters. Profiting from any openings within the limitations, girls taunted the police, exhibiting their center fingers or pushing lit cardboard banners by means of the gaps.

A bunch of ladies wearing black with balaclavas and ski masks, known as the “Black Block”, slammed hammers in opposition to the steel fence.

“They signify the a part of feminism that’s indignant,” defined Perez. “We tried to have our voices heard, however it did nothing. Sure, we’re indignant and we’ve a proper to be so.”

“We’re drained, indignant and mad”, she added.

“¡Ni una más, ni una más! / ¡Ni una asesinada más!”
(“Not another. Not another assassination!”)

It was the primary march for 10-year-old Emiliana Leyva Alvarez, however she stated she hopes to go to extra. Carrying pink socks and a purple T-shirt, she famous it was thrilling to be there and “attend one thing that issues to everybody, not simply to at least one individual”.

She stated she thinks issues will change due to the march, “even when it’s only a small factor”.

“What sort of small issues may change?” Emiliana was requested.

She paused, then stated “The identical pay for women and men or that fewer girls are killed day by day.”

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