Mexico City, Mar 9 (efe-epa).- Downtown Mexico City awoke on Tuesday to slight damage and clean-up brigades wiping away the feminist slogans painted here and there by female protesters during the International Women’s Day demonstration the day before.
The National Palace, the official residence and office complex for President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, remained protected with several metal barriers but without any trace of the gigantic metal wall that had outraged the protesters.
Thousands of women on Monday marched through central Mexico City and a group of them focused a large part of their rage against the huge metal barrier wall authorities had erected around the palace to protect it from vandalism.
The demonstrators managed to topple a portion of the wall, which had been criticized as a symbol of repression, but they could not get past the second line of barriers and police protecting the presidential residence.
Three cleaning trucks and about 30 workers were deployed on Monday to clean away the hundreds of message and slogans painted on the Zocalo, Mexico City’s huge central square on which the National Palace is located and which was the epicenter of the Women’s Day protest.
Slogans such as “Not one more,” “Your barrier will not stop me” and “Rapist narco-state” could still be seen on the flagstones of the Zocalo.
In contrast to other years, the destruction was at a minimum among the businesses and restaurants along nearby streets, given that they had protected their storefronts with plywood sheets that the shopowners were removing on Tuesday morning.
The capital’s Metropolitan Cathedral remains protected with an enormous metal barrier that was covered during the march with painted messages, among them “Take your rosaries off our ovaries.”
In addition, the emblematic Fine Arts Palace was still surrounded by a metal wall covered with painted slogans, including “Resist” and “We want to live.”
Mexico, where more than 10 women are murdered each day, on March 8 became mired in controversy over the nomination of Felix Salgado Macedonio, a politician accused of rape, as the gubernatorial candidate in Guerrero state for Lopez Obrador’s National Renewal Movement (Moreno) party, although an internal survey of party members that would definitively confirm his candidacy has not yet been conducted.
Amid the tension, the president, who upon coming to power in 2018 had removed the barriers surrounding the National Palace, had a gigantic wall erected to prevent damage to the site.
Over the weekend, women transformed the wall into a shrine to pay tribute to female murder victims, placing flowers and painting slogans at the site, and during the march on Monday activists were able to topple a portion of it.
At his morning press conference on Tuesday, Lopez Obrador reiterated that the government “did not fall into the trap of violence,” and – although the police deployed pepper spray against the protesters – he said that “the demonstrators were not attacked.”
The president once again – without providing any evidence – accused rightist conservatives of “fabricating” accusations against Salgado Macedonio.
Last year, Mexico registered 967 femicides, 16,545 rapes and a record of more than 260,000 emergency calls linked to violence against women.