On Feb. 14, women in Mexico City organized a march against the homicides — or rather “femicides” — that happen in the country on a daily basis. Even though feminist marches in Mexico are increasing, the outrage this time was triggered by the murder of Ingrid Escamilla, a woman who was brutally stabbed by her boyfriend a few days prior to Valentine’s Day. I applaud the women in Mexico for their courage to protest against these crimes. I think Mexico is going through a very tough time in regards to the safety of its people, and I hope the feminist marches are finally given the priority they deserve, are listened to and interpreted for what they are: A shout for justice.
In regards to domestic violence (Ingrid Escamilla´s case) I can’t help but wonder about the ethics that are being taught at home. There is a huge problem of machismo in Mexico which should be eliminated; furthermore, it is important to note that behaviors that could be considered “machistas” are often encouraged by both, men and women in many Mexican households. Even though Ingrid´s death was honored during the feminist march, it was not just the murder that outraged the protesters but the way in which the media handled the situation.
There were photos taken of the crime scene, and the authorities did a poor job and went ahead and filtered the photos to the public. The publication of graphic photos were then used for the cover pages of local newspapers such as Pásala whose Valentine’s Day-themed headline read “It Was Cupid´s Fault”´ followed by the crime scene in the front page. Unfortunately, such newspapers tend to sell a lot more precisely for the gore that is explicitly shown in their cover pages.
It is true that the marches are not peaceful ones. However, the marches are the result of anger that lead to posters that read “Femicide State” and cars set on fire. Mexico has reached a point where people just cannot trust their authorities. For example, in case of an emergency, would a woman run to a police officer and ask for help? Most likely not. Mexican women, including myself, were taught not to trust police officers, and even though they are hardworking and trustworthy officers, it is almost a survival rule never to trust them. Furthermore, when I was living in Mexico, I never felt safe walking on the streets at any point of the day. And the feminists are protesting exactly against that: it´s the catcalling, the stares, or just anxiety and its implications what can turn a simple walk into a living hell — Why can’t it just be a normal walk?
Lastly, I reiterate that the march on Feb. 14 was in honor of Ingrid’s death, but unfortunately, many of the women who join the marches are women who are grieving their sisters, mothers and/or daughters who suffered similar deaths.
I grieve the death of Ingrid Escamilla, and I feel angry and sad about this whole situation. I know that many women around the world share similar views than mine, and I send my support to the people who are out there protesting in the name of the women who are no longer with us, such as Ingrid, Fatima and all those other names who deserve to be remembered. Although many people argue the violent protest won’t be good at all, I think they are expressing their rage rightfully in the marches, after all, the graffiti they use to paint the walls in protest is not as lethal as the crimes that are committed everyday.
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Thumbnail photo courtesy of Christian Chavez / AP Photo.
Victoria Raya is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at email@example.com