MEXICO CITY — An International Women’s Day rally in Mexico on Tuesday drew 1000’s of protesters, with throngs marching in opposition to violence and streaming go the presidential palace and nationwide monuments within the capital that had been cordoned off with enormous metallic fences amid fears of unrest.
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who has been accused of not doing sufficient to stem the rise in femicides, urged calm whereas warning that the protests might flip violent.
The Mexico City police mentioned that they had seized Molotov cocktails, weapons such as bats and hammers and fireworks from protesters within the afternoon. Local information media reported that two protesters had been injured after swinging at a glass bus cease, which got here crashing down on high of them.
The authorities had erected a protecting metallic barrier across the National Palace, the seat of presidency the place the presidential household lives, and different historic buildings forward of the protests.
Later Tuesday night time, video footage shared on-line confirmed a blaze on the door of the federal government palace in Monterrey, the capital of Nuevo León state, after marchers entered the constructing, in keeping with native information studies. There was no instant official affirmation of any harm. Anti-riot police officers and firefighters had been deployed to the location.
Protesters wrote, “MEXICO FEMICIDE” in towering white letters on the black metallic cordon in entrance of the National Palace, which faces the Zocalo major sq., the stage for a lot of main demonstrations.
Last 12 months, ladies marching on International Women’s Day additionally clashed with the police at barricades surrounding the National Palace. Protesters tried to tear down a metallic wall put in to guard authorities property from vandalism, prompting officers to fireplace pepper spray.
Mexico recorded 969 femicides final 12 months, up barely from 949 in 2020, in keeping with authorities figures. Activists say the true figures are probably a lot larger, and a few estimate that 10 ladies a day are killed due to their gender.
A bunch of protesters chanted, “Women united, will never be defeated,” as they arrived close to the National Palace on Tuesday, waving white flags. Others, sporting purple bandanas for the area’s feminist motion or inexperienced in help of abortion rights, marched down considered one of Mexico City’s major avenues holding banners and posters with feminist slogans.
Frida Moreno, 21, a pupil who mentioned that abusive academics had scarred her upbringing, mentioned she believed she had an obligation to march in order that different younger women can be spared related experiences.
“Although I feel privileged because I live in a safe area, no one can guarantee that one day I will not disappear,” mentioned Ms. Moreno, on the verge of tears.
Mr. López Obrador, who appointed ladies to half his cupboard posts, has rejected claims by activists that he’s not keen on tackling femicides, saying that progress has been made to defend ladies’s rights.
Asked on Tuesday morning if the protests might turn into violent, as one authorities official had predicted, the president nodded.
“There is infiltration of the feminist movement in general by conservative groups,” he mentioned, noting that it was fallacious “to use violence for political purposes.”
The Mexico City authorities had mentioned it will deploy dozens of paramedics as properly as an all-female police power.