Journalist Tamara De Anda has become the target of online trolls after reporting an incident of sexual harassment to authorities.
De Anda was walking alone in the Condesa neighborhood of Mexico City on March 15 when a taxi driver catcalled guapa, meaning beautiful or hot.
After De Anda responded by telling the driver “Nobody asked for your opinion,” a heated discussion followed in which De Anda pointed out she could report him for an administrative offence. Just as the conversation was taking place, a transit police officer passed and De Anda reported the incident.
Both parties accompanied the officer to the Buenavista office of the Juzgado Cívico, or Civil Court, where De Anda made her official report while narrating the entire process in real time via her Twitter account.
The taxi driver was fined but refused to pay, choosing instead to pass the night in the Mexico City detention center known as El Torito, usually reserved for drunk drivers.
In the newspaper El Universal, to which she is a regular contributor, De Anda subsequently wrote, “I thought that would be the happy end to my story.”
She was wrong.
The issue blew up on Twitter, becoming a trending topic. De Anda received considerable support for her stance, including a comment from federal politician Cecilia Soto, who wrote that “thanks to @plaqueta [De Anda’s Twitter handle] a lot of women are now aware of Article 23 of the Civic Culture Law,” she was subjected to a far greater number of negative responses.
She was variously described as a “feminazi,” a bitch, ugly and having serious psychological problems. Others wrote that she had exaggerated, that the taxi driver’s comment was a compliment and that she should be grateful for being called beautiful.
De Anda has since stated that she also received death and rape threats in the aftermath of the incident.
U.S. journalist Andrea Noel was subjected to a similar online reaction after she was sexually assaulted in the same Mexico City neighborhood in 2016. She felt so unsafe she decided to leave the country.
In the latest twist in the saga, several Twitter users falsely claimed that De Anda had been caught up in the terrorist attack in London despite being safe and well in Mexico City.
Mexico News Daily