Mexican women won't be silent

Mexico City's government can't act like it has been acting the past years, especially in regards to kidnap attempts of women in public transport and other public places

Mexican women won't be silent
Mexico City's metro has become unsafe for women after claims of sexual harassment and attempted kidnaps - Photo: José Luis González/REUTERS
English 03/02/2019 09:12 Mexico City Editorial Actualizada 09:12
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This week, the claims of kidnap attempts against women in Mexico City's metro spread all over the internet, newspapers, and newscasts. The cases were published in social media and although very few complaints had been filed before local authorities, it was crucial for authorities to understand that the lack of legal action doesn't say anything about the real number of crimes or attempts.

In regards to crimes, there always is a “dark figure” of crimes that aren't denounced or that don't result in preliminary investigations. According to the Inegi, in Mexico in 2017, 93.2% of people didn't denounce crimes. The reason is that people consider it a waste of time or don't trust authorities.

For women, filling a complaint means they might become suspects at the Office of the Public Prosecutor, and in the case of harassment or sexual offenses, they have to retell the horrific details of an aggression they would rather forget.

Mexico City's government can't act like it has been acting during the past years, especially in regards to kidnap attempts of women in public transport and other public places. These cases have spread like fire and have spread fear among women.

It's desirable that beyond implementing police operations or checkpoints at public transport, both local and federal governments generate the proper conditions to encourage women to denounce these crimes.

The proposal made by a local deputy in Veracruz to impose a curfew for women is completely out of place and reminds us of times that should be left behind.

During the previous Mexico City administration, Miguel Ángel Mancera, the former mayor, gave women whistles so they could call for attention when they suffered harassment in public places. Until now, these type of measures didn't help decrease the number of incidents and there is no evidence that the whistles were ever successful.

Violence against women is nothing new, but women are now speaking out about these crimes, On Saturday, women took the streets to protest and demand respect, as well as safety measures. Women also demanded the end of harassment in public transport.

Mexico City's mayor, Claudia Sheinbaum has previously shown sensibility in regards to gender issues. Women and society expect that the authorities act quickly and investigate what is going on inside public transport. This is the opportunity to show that now the local government will root out crime.

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