More than 2,000 women protested against gender-based violence in Mexico City on Friday by replicating a performance originating in Chile that condemns rape, sexism, impunity and the “oppressive state.”
After rehearsing the choreography and learning the words of the performance in the Alameda Central park, women from several feminist collectives marched in the late afternoon to the zócalo, where the rendition of “Un violador en tu camino” (A rapist in your way) took place.
Blindfolded and in long lines that stretched across much of the central square, the women chanted the words written and first performed by the Chilean feminist collective Las Tesis.
The patriarchy is a judge who tries us for being born and our punishment is the violence you now see.
It’s femicide, impunity for my murderer, it’s disappearance, it’s rape.
And it wasn’t my fault, nor where I was, nor how I was dressed (x4).
You were the rapist, you are the rapist.
It’s the police, the judges, the state, the president. The oppressive state is a macho rapist (x2).
The rapist was you. The rapist is you.
Sleep calmly, innocent girl, without worrying about the criminal because your policeman lover is watching over your sweet and smiling dreams.
You are the rapist (x4).
The powerful performance came four days after the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, which was commemorated in Mexico City with a march by more than 3,000 women.
In addition to participating in the choreographed performance, the woman called for justice for 48-year-old Abril Pérez Sagaón, who was shot and killed in the capital on Monday. Her ex-husband is suspected of ordering the murder.
The National Autonomous University in Mexico City and Ecatepec, México state – which is notorious for femicides – also saw renditions of Un violador en tu camino, which was first performed in Valparaiso, Chile, earlier this week.
Beyond the metropolitan area of the capital, women in states including San Luis Potosí, Oaxaca, Nuevo León, Tamaulipas, Hidalgo, Quintana Roo, Coahuila, Jalisco, Chiapas and Michoacán participated in the same performance as did women in cities abroad including New York, London, Paris, Madrid, Berlin and Bogotá.
“I’m fighting for myself, for my generation of young people and for the generation of my daughter,” Belifet Antones, who participated in the zócalo performance with her two-year-old daughter, told the newspaper El Universal.
“. . . I believe that women carrying out these kinds of protests can achieve something better for us women . . . I don’t want to leave this violent Mexico to my daughter . . . I don’t want anybody to murder her, to rape her,” she said.
Acknowledging yesterday’s protest in a twitter post, Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum reiterated her government’s commitment to do everything possible to ensure that the capital is a safe city for women. The mayor last week issued a gender alert for Mexico City, activating a range of measures to address violence against women.
Also this week, Interior Secretary Olga Sánchez Cordero insisted that “not a single” femicide case will go unpunished. “We are going to go after those who commit femicide. There will not be a single incident that goes without punishment . . . let’s make that loud and clear . . .”
Ten women are killed on average every day in Mexico, making the country one of the most dangerous for females in the world.