Mexican police attack IWD protesters demanding an end to impunity in crimes against women

March 9, 2024
Issue 

Hundreds of thousands of people around Mexico marched on International Women's Day, with an estimated 180,000 people reported in Mexico City, massive marches in Oaxaca, Guadalajara, and more, and two journalists arrested in Zacatecas.

Women and children marching for International Women's Day in Puebla Mexico
Marching for International Women's Day in Puebla, Mexico. Photo: Tamara Pearson

In Puebla, authorities criminalised the women's march by covering key buildings and the fountain in the main plaza in giant metal sheets or wooden boards.

Protesters
Marching for International Women's Day in Puebla, Mexico. The woman's placard (right) reads 'I'd like to be a monument so they would protect me.' The child's placard says, 'Girls fighting, and the world transforming.' Photo: Tamara Pearson

Frustrated with impunity, prior to and during the march, women, trans, and non-binary people denounced their rapists and attackers by writing their names and pasting printed photos on the metal sheets and wooden boards and other surfaces around the centre of the city.

protest
Tens of thousands of people in Puebla marched to demand that rape and assault not be covered up and women who have been forcibly disappeared be found. Photo: Tamara Pearson

Numerous cover ups of serial rapists in various institutions such as the major universities were denounced, while others chanted the names of missing and murdered loved ones as they marched. One of the main chants was, "The police don't protect me, my female friends protect me."

protesting
'It's your wall, but she was my child,' in reference to the right-wing attacks against feminist marchers for spray-painting walls with slogans, the names of murdered and missing women, or the names of unpunished criminal men. Photo: Tamara Pearson

But while authorities do little to bring justice to women, there were hundreds of police available on the day to protect buildings. While rapists aren't arrested, the police did arrest numerous protesters, and sprayed protestors with high-powered hoses and tear gas for hours. They also threw rocks and glass bottles at protesters.

Police stand behind metal sheets erected around the municipal palace, and spray protestors with water and tear gas. Photo: Tamara Pearson
Metal sheets erected around the fountain in the main square protect police as they spray tear gas at protesters. On the sheets, there are photos of disappeared and murdered women, of rapists and abusers who have not been punished. Photo: Tamara Pearson
To the right, black writing reads "My body is mine."
A woman looks at one of the many walls of messages where people name offenders. Photo: Tamara Pearson

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