Mexico City — Graffiti permanently marring the base of the beloved Angel of Independence monument reflects the rage of Mexico’s women who have managed to survive a culture of deadly gender violence.
Repairs will cost between 15,000 and 30,000 pesos, or US$760-$1,500, per square meter, according to one restorer’s estimate. But the paint cannot be completely erased from the centuries-old stone.
But despite the controversy caused by the destruction, feminists of different generations believe that protest has been effective. The issue is squarely on the agenda of both the media and lawmakers.
Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum, who described the protests as “provocation,” finally initiated a dialogue and promised to take concrete actions within a month.
“I understand that we do not like destruction and we did not expect this to happen, but we are living in a state of emergency and if the authorities do not do their job it is the only way to get attention,” Xóchitl Rodríguez, 25, a protestor who was surprised by the scope of the Aug. 16 nationwide protest.
Xóchitl Rodríguez is part of #NoNosCuidanNosViolan, the movement that emerged this month after three police officers were accused of raping a minor.
“I hope it is not a farce,” Xóchitl said in reference to the mayor’s commitments and said the pressure on the street must be maintained. “You can’t build with the government alone, you have to generate roads on the outside.”
Violence against women has trended upwards in Mexico. Last year saw 3,662 femicides, almost 400 more than the previous year, according to federal government data.
In March, the Secretary of the Interior, Olga Sánchez Cordero, acknowledged that Mexico had failed women and announced new measures. The trend did not change. In the first six months of 2019, 1,834 women were killed, 107 of them in the capital.
But it’s not just about deaths. By August almost 10,000 complaints of rape were registered, 800 of them in the capital, and victims and groups complain about both the treatment by authorities towards the victims and the lack of access to justice.
According to data from the National Citizen Observatory of Feminicide, only 2 percent of sexual assaults and rapes end in prison sentences.
Source: Diario de Yucatan