Mar 2, 2020
Translated from Lutte Ouvrière (Workers’ Struggle), the newspaper of the revolutionary workers’ group active in France.
On February 9 in Mexico, Ingrid, a 25-year-old woman, was found murdered and eviscerated by her companion, a 46-year-old engineer. This savage crime provoked a massive reaction by women across the country, who demonstrated on the streets of Mexico on February 14.
“Not One More!” the protesters shouted. Some wore purple scarves for feminism or green scarves for abortion rights. Many hid their faces behind hoods or makeup, fearing retaliation. There were meetings and demonstrations in homage to this young woman in seven different Mexican states.
The photos of Ingrid’s body and details from the confession of her murderer that were published in the tabloids also fueled women’s anger against both the revolting crime and the venality of the newspapers. Demonstrators expressed this anger against the paper La Prensa, by sacking and burning a number of its delivery trucks. This was in response to the refusal of the newspaper’s manager to even apologize for the way the paper had exploited this woman’s murder, prioritizing its sales over basic human dignity.
Mexico is one of the countries on the American continent where life is treated the most cheaply. Infected by diverse mafias linked to parts of the government, with drug gangs possessing the means to corrupt or eliminate anyone who gets in their way, murders are extremely common.
Women working in factories near the U.S. border have long been frequent victims of murder. But since 2015, in this macho society, the murders of women killed by their husbands or boyfriends has exploded. In 2019, 1,006 women were murdered, an increase of 145% since 2015.
Six in ten Mexican women under the age of 15 are victims of physical and sexual assault. But most don’t file a complaint. The police don’t follow up. Officials repeat the stupid clichés heard everywhere about going out alone or wearing a short skirt.
Protesters gathered in front of the palace of President Andrès Manuel Lopez Obrador to demand that he do something to stop the killings of women. He promised not to hide his head in the sand, but so far he has been more effective at stopping Central American migrants trying to reach the U.S. than in protecting women. His Minister of the Interior and the Mexico City council promised that the women’s demands were a priority and announced that an investigation had been opened into the release of the photographs of Ingrid. The Mexico City council has proposed a law punishing the release of these types of images with heavy prison sentences. But the issue of murders of women has been on the table for years, and officials have done nothing while the murders have multiplied.
“My friends protect me, you cops don’t,” women chanted during the protests. They know they can’t depend on a government rotten with corruption. Recent mobilizations of women in other Latin American countries like Chile, Argentina and El Salvador show none of this is limited to Mexico.