For the past several days in Mexico City, feminists have taken their demands and anger to the streets in protest of police officers who allegedly raped three women. The protests are a call to action over the lack of safety of women in Mexico and the corruption of the police department who is supposed to keep them safe. They’re using the hashtag #NoMeCiudanMeViolan, which translates to “they don’t protect me, they rape me.”
Friday night’s protest included the defacement of one of Mexico City’s most prominent sculptures, the Angel of Independence. Police had to build a wall around it to further protect it. “It pains me to see the destruction of monuments, but it would also hurt me to see a cousin or friend killed or raped,” a person on social media said.
Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum, who made history as the first woman elected in the city’s government, is under scrutiny for her handling of the rape charges against police officers and also the protests. While she said that six officers had been arrested in connection with the rapes of the minors, she has not disclosed any more information about it.
— Izumi (@BullyIzumi) August 19, 2019
In response to the protests, Sheinbaum belittled their call to action by saying they were provoking. She has since apologized for using that word. The mayor also said that no one would be charged for defacing the monument. However, some journalists were attacked during the march, and Sheinbaum said an investigation would be conducted over that.
The uprising of women in Mexico City began in the wake of reported rapes at the hands of police officers. On July 10, a 27-year-old woman was allegedly raped by two police officers. Two officers have since been arrested in connection to that crime. On August 3, a 17-year-old girl said nine police officers raped her after she was on her way home from a party. On August 8, a 16-year-old accused an officer of rape that occurred inside a museum. An officer has also been arrested in connection to that rape.
— Fer Maib (@MaibFer) August 19, 2019
The mayor said six officers had been arrested in connection to these violent sexual crimes, but not much information has been released about the investigation. Sheinbaum said she would continue to meet with protest organizers and women’s rights groups to delegate a plan for safety.
But it remains to be seen what new precautions the city will take to ensure the safety of women. This year alone, less than 9,000 rapes have been reported in the entire country of Mexico. While that may seem like a small number, it’s important to note that an estimated 94 percent of rapes go unreported.