Last week, feminists rushed the National Human Rights Commission federal building in downtown Mexico City, ejecting workers and declaring the site a shelter for victims of violence.
The action is a latest in a series of increasingly radical measures taken by feminist collectives in response to the high rate of femicides in Mexico. On average, 11 women are killed every day in Mexico and despite ongoing protests President Andrés Manuel López Obradorn and other government officials are dismissive of the need for more protections.
“We’re here so that the whole world will know that in Mexico they kill women and nobody does anything about it,” said Yesenia Zamudio, who whose daughter was murdered four years ago.
Around 30 women and several children remain in the building, camping out on cots. Activists have torn down paintings of historical figures and defaced them with graffiti, while covering the building with photos and memorials of women who have disappeared or been slain.
President Andrés Manuel López Obradorn has expressed sympathy to the activists’ message but has expressed outrage at the destruction of the valuable paintings of Mexican revolutionaries.
“He thinks a painting has more value than a woman’s life,” said Erika Martinez, whose 7-year-old daughter was molested by a family member and joined the movement after authorities neglected to act.
So far, the president has not decided to send in police to clear out the protestors, which has led to a standoff between the activists and authorities.
Sources: AP 9/9/20; LA Times 9/9/20; FR24News 9/10/20