05 | DIC | 2019
Sexual harassment and attempted kidnaps in Mexico City's Metro
A protest against violence against women took place on Saturday in Mexico City - Photo: Juan Carlos Reyes García/EL UNIVERSAL

Sexual harassment and attempted kidnaps in Mexico City's Metro

03/02/2019
15:50
Newsroom
Mexico City
Sandra Hernández, David Fuentes, Eduardo Hernández
-A +A
Mexican women have been sharing their harrowing experiences in Mexico City's subway system on social media

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Mexican women have been sharing their harrowing experiences in Mexico City's subway system on social media, which include attempted kidnaps, physical aggression, sexual harassment, and threats.

What's going on?

Women shared their experiences about kidnap attempts in or around the city's Metro on social media and someone compiled them and made a map pointing out where the attacks took place, so other women would be alert. According to the map, the most dangerous stations are Martín Carrera, Barranca del muerto, Mixcoac, San Antonio, Indios Verdes, Coyoacán, and Ermita.

According to several women, one or several men have threatened when they were inside the Metro or as they are exiting the subway station. Some claim that men attacked them and tried to shove them inside a vehicle, nevertheless, the attackers try to convince those around that they are boyfriend and girlfriend and that they are just fighting.

Testimonies

According to the women who have shared their experiences, the men say things like “we can fix this at home,” “don't make a scene,” and other things to prevent other people from intervening; this modus operandi was reported last year.

What does the Metro say?

The Metro Public Transport System (STCM) revealed that there are no complaints in regards or associated to kidnaps in its 195 stations.

The Metro said that women-exclusive carriages operate permanently at every station, although men always access these carriages in many stations while police officers don't intervene.

The Metro also said no official complaints have been filed at the Public Prosecutor's office.

In 2018, Mexico City's Citizens' Council, led by Salvador Guerrero Chiprés, claims it only received 6 calls denouncing attempted kidnaps inside the city's Metro, nevertheless, after reading the description of the events, it was identified that is was “tugging inside the Metro.”

Guerrero Chiprés said that given the fragility of current education, the attempted kidnaps denounced are really “pushes” in different circumstances in public transport.

Nevertheless, on Wednesday, Mexico City's government received its first formal complaint filed by a woman who says she was almost kidnaped inside the Metro.

The government's response

After the claims spread across social media, Mexico City's mayor, Claudia Sheinbaum asked the Command and Control Center (C5) to reinforce the surveillance inside and outside the Metro. In regards to the complaints, the mayor said they are checking the files to learn if the denounces were cataloged as other crimes.

“We don't know how many of these complaints in social media took place but we are taking all the preventive measures. The only thing we have is the complaint made on Wednesday, a formal complaint, but we don't doubt that this is true,” she said.

A few hours later, Sheinbaum met with a group of activists to talk about the issue. The meeting lasted two hours.

After the meeting, María de la Luz Estrada, the coordinator of the National Femicide Observatory, and Dana Corres, an expert of mobility and gender, said that the authorities would announce a contingency security plan for the Metro.

“Our own colleagues suffered an episode, that's why we came to talk to the mayor, to explain to her that this is a real problem that has been documented since September 2018 but in the last two months it seems like women have been denouncing it on social media,” said María de la Luz Estrada.

On the other hand, Dana Corres, from Serendipia Data, said that they have 140 complaints from women who were attacked in the Metro, and 84 of these cases have been registered in a map.

The plan

Mexico City's authorities visited the metro to see the security conditions in the subway system.

On the other hand, Mexico City's Congress asked authorities to implement a swift response protocol to solve the sexual harassment and attempted kidnap cases.

Artículo

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 silentMexican women won't be silent

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