Mancera's whistle. Mancera's whistle.

Mayor’s free whistles earn scorn, ridicule

But Mancera defends program, says it's only one of several measures

Mexico City Mayor Miguel Ángel Mancera’s whistle warning system for victims of sexual harassment or assault has been received with widespread scorn and ridicule, along with countless memes on social media.


Making matters worse for the beleaguered Mancera, and providing additional fodder for mayoral mockery, is that one Spanish word for whistle is pito, which is also slang for penis. It didn’t take long for the hashtag #elpitodemancera, or Mancera’s whistle, to appear.

“Mancera thought that to not be harassed he had to give us exactly what we don’t have,” wrote one woman on her Twitter account.

The mayor explained last week that “the whistle strategy will be available to whoever needs it. The whistle will be sending out a warning signal to society that something’s happening, and that we can’t be indifferent.”

The whistles, emblazoned with the stylized CDMX logo, will be handed out free of charge to women and men alike, enabling victims and witnesses of harassment to raise an alarm.

But one recent victim of assault, a journalist who had her underwear yanked down while walking in the city’s La Condesa neighborhood, wondered how effective they might be. “If screaming doesn’t help, how will this?” asked Andrea Noel on Twitter.


This week, in response to the criticism, Mancera has clarified that the whistle should be considered only as one measure in combatting sexual violence against women. And, he said, it is a measure that has proved effective in other parts of the world.

“There is testimony of women who say they’ve never left home without their whistle for the last 10 years.”

But, he pointed out, it wasn’t a standalone measure.

“Mexico City today has exclusive vehicles for women, exclusive buses” and has seen a 300% increase in harassment reports.

“We’re now receiving in one month the number of reports we used to get in one year,” said Mancera.

The mayor said it was too soon to judge the whistle program, though he praised its success in other large cities, including some in Mexico, as well as London, Barcelona and Buenos Aires.

Source: El Universal (sp)

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  • James Smith

    and the criminals just watch and laugh.

  • Patricia Dolan

    I think it’s a great idea!! I never go anywhere without my whistle and I’ve had to use it……it has saved me!!!!

    • Garry Montgomery


      • Patricia Dolan

        Really WHAT!!? Tell me what you find so hard to believe…….. that maybe there aren’t a lot of creepy guys out there harassing women day in and day out, grabbing, touching, taking pictures and video taping??? pictures up skirts, verbal harassment and sexual come ons, degrading comments if we don’t respond, not to mention rape??? If you don’t know this you live in a bubble.

        • Garry Montgomery

          Really . . .what really happened when you blew the whistle? Did the rapist turn and run, covering his/her ears in pain? Did the police magically appear and save you? What does the whistle do in an office situation and what does it do on the street? How many times have you had to use it?

          • Patricia Dolan

            You HAVE to stop the Q-Tip when there’s RESISTANCE……although in your case I can see what happened. the Q-Tip went in one ear and out the other…….shit for brains…..

          • Garry Montgomery

            Patricia it’s obvious you have no idea how to use a Q tip so I guess it’s obvious we’re not going to get an honest response from you.  The questions are fair, how about some answers?Garry Montgomery

          • Patricia Dolan

            I won’t waste my time trying to explain something to someone who is committed to not understanding……..good luck TRYING to connect!

          • Garry Montgomery

            O.K. Huff off and have a hissy fit. It seens you are unable or unwilling to back up your claims of avoiding rape by blowing a plastic whistle . . . A genuine request for clarification of your claims you choose to dismiss?

          • Patricia Dolan

            don’t have time for dick heads

          • Garry Montgomery

            Patricia it’s obvious you have no idea how to use a Q tip so I guess it’s obvious we’re not going to get an honest response from you. The questions are fair, how about some straight answers instead of crass insults? Keep the conversation light and don’t get so easily offended.

  • Garry Montgomery

    So the boss sexually harasses his secretary and she just needs to blow the whistle on him?

    • Patricia Dolan

      This is about being harassed and accosted on the street. There are other venues for the workplace. This is used in cities all over the world and it’s working. Women love it. The people that don’t like are the offenders

  • Hickmen

    All the kids now have whistles to play with.

  • Dan Tucker

    It worked in the Titanic movie. . . .