Friday, December 1, 2023

Mexico City legislators come to blows over animal rights

A dispute over an animal welfare bill turned physical in the corridors of Mexico City’s Congress on Wednesday, when two local politicians began hurling insults and blows.

In a video circulated on social media, local deputies Jesús Sesma of the Green Ecologist of Mexico Party (PVEM), and Jorge Gaviño, of the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD), can be seen trading insults and physical aggressions. The conflict arose when Sesma accused Gaviño of going back on his promise to vote to put the Law on Animal Welfare on the congressional agenda.

The video shows Sesma insulting Gaviño, Gaviño shoving Sesma, and Sesma launching a kick at Gaviño in response. Other people then restrain the two men while they hurl expletives at each other, with Sesma repeatedly calling Gaviño “not much of a man.”

Subsequently, both politicians accused the other of starting the fight.

“Yesterday there was a vote that Deputy Gaviño needed where I offered to vote with him and I asked him if we could have his endorsement to put the Welfare Law on the agenda,” Sesma explained, in a video released shortly after the incident. “Unfortunately, [the welfare law] did not get the vote I would have liked due to the abstention of Deputy Gaviño.”

“Yes, I got angry,” he admitted. “I met him in the corridor, I did not go to look for him in his office. I complained to Deputy Gaviño about the lack of respect for his word and he was the one who took off his glasses and hit me.”

Shortly afterwards, Gaviño released his own video on social media, insisting that Sesma had initiated the aggressions and defending his decision to vote against the initiative.

“After reviewing this initiative, we saw it has several inconsistencies. For example, it empowers municipalities to kill animals, it has something to do with giving more rights to bullfighting,” he said. “We voted to abstain, Deputy Sesma was very upset about that and came to my office to verbally and physically attack me.”

“I apologize for the insults, but the defense of animals is a cause I am committed to, and I will not allow intimidation from anyone,” he added.

With reports from Sin Embargo and Reporte Indigo

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