Patricia Mercado, a feminist candidate in this year’s Mexican presidential election and a founding member of the Social-Democratic Alternative and Farmer party, has made news with her firm pro-feminist and pro-LGBT rights platform. Mercado’s presence in this year’s election is of particular significance, in light of the ongoing violence against women in Juarez, Mexico.
Unlike many of her political contemporaries, Mercado has gone to particularly great lengths to address the issue of violence against women in her country. Mercado met with women’s rights activists Eve Ensler, Jane Fonda, and Salma Hayek on May 9 to discuss the violent attacks on women in Juarez City, Mexico. Mercado was present that evening, when Fonda and Hayek performed Ensler’s Vagina Monologues in honor of the more than 400 women victimized in the Juarez killings.
At the event Mercado noted that one of her goals is “to generate a great national commitment” to end violence against women in Mexico.
Although she is unlikely to win Mexico’s presidential election this July, Mercado has already garnered attention for her staunchly feminist stance. In June, several Catholic Bishops in Mexico were reported to have illegally encouraged churchgoers to retract their support for Mercado, who is pro-abortion rights. Members of the Ecclesiastical Observatory, a watchdog group comprised of organizations such as Catholics for the Right to Decide, have rallied behind Mercado and are currently combating election corruption by distributing election law information to parish members across the country.