Each day, María Salguero’s inbox floods with alerts telling the interminable tale of Mexico’s femicide crisis: “woman’s corpse”, “woman dismembered”, “woman stoned”, “woman stabbed”.
For the past four years the Mexico City activist has made a daily mission of documenting the death toll, and pinpointing each of the crimes and victims on an online map.
When Andrés Manuel López Obrador was elected in 2018, Salguero hoped Mexico’s supposedly progressive new president would take decisive action to slow a wave of killing that last year claimed the lives of 3,825 women.
Instead, Salguero’s research tells her things are getting worse: 10 or 11 women are now being killed each day, compared to six when she launched her map in 2016.
And – like many Mexican feminists – she voices frustration at the politician popularly known as Amlo.
“I feel betrayed, because I was one of those who voted for him,” said Salguero, 40. “We trusted that things could be different – but now we are seeing that this is just more of the same.”
Salguero is not alone.
After a politically explosive start to 2020, in which two horrific femicides sparked street protests and catapulted gender violence to the top of Mexico’s political agenda, many former Amlo supporters are expressing disenchantment.
Masked feminists daubed their discontent on to the presidential palace last month with slogans such as “Amlo is killing us” and “Let’s abort Amlo”.
“We all believed that with him things would be different. I thought this too,” said Frida Guerrera, a journalist and activist who recently confronted Mexico’s president at his morning press conference.Map
Microphone in hand, Guerrera implored Amlo to do more to fight Mexico’s “femicide emergency”.
“Femicide exists. We should never, ever deny that,” she said, demanding to know why Mexico lacked a special prosecutor’s office to deal with such crimes. “I’m sorry to raise my voice. [But] what is the president’s stance towards us women?”
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