Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Saturday said a metallic barrier to wall off the presidential palace ahead of the planned women’s march on International Women’s Day was to avoid provocation and protect historic buildings from vandalism.
In a country where femicides rose nearly 130% between 2015 and 2020, critics said that the decision to erect the 10-foot-high barrier was symptomatic of Lopez Obrador’s apathy towards the crisis of violence afflicting women.
Ahead of the International Women’s Day on Monday, barriers were also installed around other emblematic buildings and monuments in downtown Mexico City, where a year ago tens of thousands of people protested rampant violence against women and impunity.
“We have to avoid provocation of people who only want to cause damage,” the President said at an event in Yucatan. “Imagine, if we don’t take care of the national palace and they vandalize it. What image will this send to the World?”