Three of Mexico’s most powerful women celebrated International Women’s Day Friday by sitting down for lunch with inmates at a women’s prison in Mexico City.
Interior Secretary Olga Sánchez Cordero, Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum and Beatriz Gutiérrez Müller, wife of President López Obrador, commemorated the day with a visit to the Reclusorio Sur prison in Xochimilco.
The three women sat down with 180 prisoners for a lunch of chicken with mole, rice and soup, after which there was music and dancing to Jailhouse Rock.
Gutiérrez Müller handed out books to the inmates, including Don Quixote — because of its central message of optimism, according to Gutiérrez, along with You Don’t Understand Me: Feminine Language vs Masculine Language by María del Pilar Montes de Oca and stories of Eros and Aphrodite.
“I’m not here as a political move; I’m just here to deliver greetings from the president and myself,” Gutiérrez said. “I have brought you something to entertain yourselves, because you’re going to leave here,” she assured the prisoners.
Interior Secretary Sánchez promised prisoners that each of their cases would be thoroughly reviewed because judges and prosecutors often do not take into account the circumstances that drive women to commit the crimes that lead to their imprisonment.
On several occasions the three women’s speeches were interrupted by petitions for case reviews and requests that the visitors approach prisoners so they could deliver handwritten messages to them.
One inmate shouted, “I have been here 15 years! They sentenced me unjustly when I was just 17 years old!”
The visit coincided with a massive march by more than 8,000 people in Mexico City. Participants marched from the Angel of Independence monument on Reforma avenue to the zócalo, demanding action against femicides and violence against women, government support for daycare and safe access to abortion services
They also expressed their opposition to the creation of the national guard.