One thousand policewomen and 2,000 female government workers will accompany a march in Mexico City on Monday to mark International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.
Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum told a press conference on Sunday that the city employees – dubbed “women of peace” – will walk side by side with the various groups participating in the anti-violence march, which will take place four days after a gender violence alert was activated in the capital.
She said that the workers will help to keep the peace but stressed that “they won’t intervene; they’ll simply be accompanying the march in a peaceful way.”
The mayor said the participation of the government in the march wasn’t planned, explaining that the employees themselves asked to be included.
“A lot of colleagues said they wanted to help and participate . . . They decided to attend voluntarily but it won’t be like before,” Sheinbaum said, referring to the cinturón de paz, or peace belt, of government workers that lined the route of the October 2 march to commemorate the 51st anniversary of the 1968 Tlatelolco massacre.
“Now they will accompany the demonstrators in their march,” she explained.
The mayor said the role of the 1,000 policewomen will be to “guarantee peace” during the march, which will depart at 5:00pm from two points, the Angel of Independence and the Monument to the Revolution, and conclude in Mexico City’s historic center.
“It’s important to say that if anyone is empathetic with the demand for there not to be violence . . . it’s policewomen . . .” Sheinbaum said.
The mayor said that 37 historic monuments along the route will be walled off or covered to ensure that they are not vandalized and that the police will carry fire extinguishers to put out any blazes lit by radical demonstrators.
If there is any outbreak of violence – as occurred during two women’s marches in August – the police will act responsibly, Sheinbaum said.
“There is a very clear instruction from the secretary of citizens’ security to the policewomen who will participate and that’s for there not to be any police abuse . . . All of them have this instruction . . .” she said.
“. . . We’re not going to fall into a provocation. A lot of the time what they [radical demonstrators] are seeking is for there to be police abuse, a confrontation . . . but we’re not going to do that . . .” Sheinbaum said.
The mayor on Thursday issued a gender alert for Mexico City, activating a range of measures to address violence against women. Gender alerts are now active in 20 states across the country.
There were 3,662 murders of women in 2018, according to official statistics, and 1,834 in the first six months of 2018.
Ten women are killed on average every day in Mexico, making the country one of the most dangerous for females in the world.
High levels of impunity exacerbate the threat: according to a recent study, the probability of a crime being reported, investigated and solved is just 1.3%.