Thousands of women took to the streets across Mexico to participate in International Women’s Day marches and demonstrations on Tuesday.
Protests at which women called for an end to gender-based violence were held in more than 20 states, the newspaper Milenio reported.
Mexico’s largest cities – Mexico City, Guadalajara, Monterrey, Tijuana, León and Puebla – all saw marches, as did numerous smaller cities including Morelia, San Luis Potosí, Saltillo, Cancún, Mérida, Oaxaca, Guanajuato, Los Cabos, Veracruz, Zacatecas, Hermosillo, Tlaxcala and Chilpancingo.
Anti-violence slogans such as “Ni una más” (not one more femicide victim) and “Si soy la próxima, quiero ser la última” (If I’m the next I want to be the last) reverberated across the nation, where thousands of women are murdered, abducted, raped and sexually assaulted every year.
More than 10,000 women took to the streets in Guadalajara, including family members of victims of kidnapping and femicide. Vandalism was reported at the University of Guadalajara.
In Monterrey, members of radical feminist groups broke into the Nuevo León government palace at the conclusion of a march, vandalizing its interior and setting fire to windows and doors.
Governor Samuel García said on social media that he understood women’s anger, “but in this palace we’re not your enemies, we’re your allies.”
“Here you don’t have to break or burn doors because the doors are open to you,” he wrote.
In Morelia, at least eight women were arrested at the conclusion of the march, and videos posted to social media showed police hitting some of them.
San Luis Potosí city saw one of the biggest protests in the country, with some 10,000 women and girls marching from the central square to the state Attorney General’s Office, where they demanded justice for victims of violence.
About 8,000 women protested in front of municipal government offices in León, where they rebuked authorities for not doing enough to guarantee women’s safety.
In Hermosillo, thousands of protesters demanded justice for victims of violence including Marisol Cuadras, an 18-year-old woman killed outside the Guaymas municipal palace while attending a protest against gender violence last November.
Women protesting in Cancún charged that gender violence in Quintana Roo is seen as nothing more than a phenomenon that threatens the state’s tourism industry.
A large march was also held in Ecatepec, México state, one of the country’s most populous municipalities and one of the most dangerous for women. Among the participants were members of feminist collectives and mothers of femicide victims.
In Los Cabos, one of the country’s top tourism destinations, female hotel employees took to the streets to denounce sexual harassment at work.
Offices of the national statistics agency INEGI and the Ministry for Women were vandalized and looted in Oaxaca city during a march, and authorities reported that over 90 businesses and homes sustained damage. A protest in Tlaxcala was also marred by anti-social behavior, Milenio reported.
The largest International Women’s Day event was that held in Mexico City, where an estimated 75,000 women marched to the zócalo, the capital’s central square.