International Women's Day News Top

Marching together against femicide

A woman painted with invasive hands and the painted message of “with clothes or without clothes, my body is not to be touched.” (Samantha Esquivel/YJI)

Matamoros, Tamaulipas, MEXICO – “Sir, Ma’am! Don’t be indifferent. Women are killed in people’s faces,” the crowd shouted.

On March 8th, nearly 400 protestors marched to raise awareness and demand justice over the enormous percentage of femicides, rapes, and assaults that women in Mexico experience.

Paulina Guadalupe Lara Rivera, a 20-year-old student from the Matamoros University of Technology was part of the crowd.

“I made a poster with the message, ‘I want my little sister and all the little sisters and girls of the world to grow up safe and free,’ ” said Rivera.

She wanted to share that message, so she brought the poster to the march, Rivera said.

“I believe that going to the march is the way to demonstrate that we’re together,” she said.

In the border city of Matamoros, marchers walked from Tamaulipas and Gonzales streets to the endpoint at Plaza Allende.

People who showed up to support the women’s movement. (Samantha Esquivel/YJI)

Quotes like the one above were chanted in unison, while marchers carried many unique posters demanding justice or sharing heartbreaking stories.

Although this protest took place in Matamoros, these feminist marches could be seen all around Mexico in a united attempt to fight for a better and safer country for women. 

And so, instead of celebrating the International Women’s Day, cities all around the country marched so that one day they could celebrate a change in the dangers women face daily.

A woman holds a poster that says, “You silenced my sorrows with brutality.” (Samantha Esquivel/YJI)

In Matamoros, once the march reached its endpoint, the protestors re-grouped to surround Plaza Allende’s large gazebo, where organizers and other protestants passed the microphone to share traumatic sexual abuse stories and speeches demanding justice from the government.

Protesters standing in the final part of the march. (Samantha Esquivel/YJI)

One example was the story of Leslie Alejandra, a young femicide victim murdered in 2023. Her former boyfriend was arrested last fall for the killing.

When her story was being told, protestors raised their fist in silence to show respect. This continued when other homicides were brought up.

Protesters holding a sign in honor of Leslie Alejandra, a 21-year old nursing student murdered in 2023. (Samantha Esquivel/YJI)

But to remain positive while also staying strong in their message, organizers led activities such as jumping while chanting, “El que no brinque es macho! (the one who doesn’t jump is misogynistic)” or by chanting, “No estas sola (you are not alone),” “Justicia (justice)” and more.

Protesters, who began making signs in the afternoon shade, were still at the park when families departed with the rising moon.

Samantha Esquivel is a Reporter with Youth Journalism International. 

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