Mexican women were given the right to vote in 1953, but one town in Guerrero appears stuck in 1952.
Women in Ocotequila, a community in the municipality of Copanatoyac, were not permitted to cast a ballot in a municipal election last Sunday.
A vote to elect a new comisario (commissioner) — a municipal official with a range of legal and other responsibilities — was held, but at least nine women were told they couldn’t participate, the newspaper Reforma reported.
Municipal officials informed them they couldn’t vote because the indigenous governing code known as usos y costumbres precluded the participation of women. Copanatoyac is part of Guerrero’s Montaña region, where most residents are indigenous.
“They told us that only men can vote,” said Antonia Ramírez Marcelino, an Ocotequila resident and councilor with a local committee of the National Electoral Institute who has spoken up previously for the right of women to vote in her community.A video Ramírez recorded on Facebook on March 8 about the problem of women being denied the vote in Ocotequila, Guerrero.
She said women were wrongfully denied their right to cast a ballot, noting that the municipal government had not explicitly specified that they were not allowed to vote. Ramírez also said that Ocotequila women have not been allowed to vote in previous comisario elections.
On International Women’s Day last March she recorded a video decrying the fact that women in Ocotequila are not allowed to vote nor stand for local positions like comisario.
“They rejected us because we’re women,” said another would-be voter. “I think the men should respect us because they come from a woman, not some animal,” she said.
The women denied the opportunity to vote submitted a document complaining about their disenfranchisement. They also told officials that women have a constitutional right to participate in elections, but their protest was to no avail.
With reports from Reforma