Student - February 27, 2020

Meanwhile in... Mexico


On Valentine’s Day, there were large protests in various Mexican cities against violence against women. During the protests, buildings were vandalized and there were clashes with the police. WUR student Flavio Diaz Miron Rodriguez shares his views on the protests and the high level of violence against women in Mexico.

There are peaceful ways to make your voice heard

‘I don’t think the main problem in Mexico is violence against women. I think the real problem is organized crime, low levels of education and low levels of policing, which results in violence against everyone, including women. If we only focus on the female side, it won’t solve anything.

I totally disagree with the vandalism of the protestors. They break windows and daub graffiti on private and public buildings. I think there are peaceful ways to make your voice heard. Some protester groups don’t allow men to participate in their protests. They don’t want men to help them, but they do want us to change.

In big cities there is less of a macho culture because of the protests, social media and discussions on TV shows. Before, talking about macho culture would be taboo, but now it’s becoming more and more normal to discuss this. People are starting to question the macho role, the macho culture and inequality in Mexico.

The violence in Mexico affects me on a personal and psychological level. It makes me a bit sad that this is happening in my home country, and that it’s been happening for so long. Sometimes, the sheer impact of Mexico’s negative image is really overwhelming. When I talk about my home country with international friends, I always hear that the general image of Mexico is of a very violent place. Shows like Netflix’s Narcos don’t help Mexico’s image either. It feels like people are a bit paranoid about going to Mexico.’

Flavio Diaz Miron Rodriguez (31), an Urban Environmental Management MSc student, reflects on the current situation in his home country.
Flavio Diaz Miron Rodriguez (31), an Urban Environmental Management MSc student, reflects on the current situation in his home country.

Re:actions 9

  • Gabriela

    A pro pos del 8 de Marzo..... Ayer me encontre esta
    reflexion en la revista Resource y claro que celebro la libertad de expression y los espacios creados por instituciones como la Universidad de Wageningen para publicar diferentes puntos de vista. Sin emabargo, yo, Mexicana (igual que el autor) e inmigrante pr casi 8 anios, difiero total y absolutamente de esta reflexion y decidi re-reflexionar sobre ella, particularmente en esta pagina de la comunidad mexicana en Wageningen y en otros sitios de las redes sociales porque me parece que siendo hombre y estando lejos de Mexico, es muy facil decir “hay otras formas” (que igual, muchos hombres y mujeres en el pais lo piensan y lo dicen tambien).
    En realidad, lo de menos deberia ser “la imagen general (en el exterior) de Mexico como un pais violento”. Lo de mas y de verdad importancia es el hecho de que seamos ajenos (tanto mexicanos como la comunidad internacional) a la gravedad del feminicidio y la violencia contra la mujer que impera en nuestro pais. Cierto que hay muchos problemas dentro de los cuales estan los mencionados como “el crimen organizado, los bajos niveles de educion y las politicas deficientes”. Es cierto tambien que la violencia se ha incrementado y es generalizada en el pais, sin embargo, lo que es alarmante es el numero de feminicidios que se incrementa de una forma exponencial y que estos suceden por VIOLENCIA DE GENERO (entendemos la diferencia que existe con otros tipos de violencia, no?). El hecho de pensar que las protestas deben hacerse “pacificamente y que enfocarnos en el lado femenino no va resolver nada” y el interearse mas en el valor (material y/o cultural) de “las ventanas y los edificios publicos y privados”, a eso yo lo llamo indolencia. A eso, yo lo llamo hablar desde el privilegio de ser hombre (tal vez de clase media-alta) y de vivir en un pais con un indice de violencia tan bajo como los Paises Bajos. Me parece una lloriquera ridicula y una forma de pensar muy peligrosa la de “algunos grupos de manifestantes no aceptan hombres en sus protesta. Ellas no quieren ayuda de los hombres, lo quieren es que cambiemos”. CLARO QUE QUEREMOS QUE CAMBIEN! YA FUE SUFICIENTE DE MACHISMO, YA FUE SUFICIENTE DE UNA CULTURA PATRIARCAL QUE MATA MILES DE MUJERES POR EL SIMPLE HECHO DE SER MUJERES Y NO, NO NECESITAMOS SU AYUDA, EXIGIMOS SU RESPETO.

  • Alan Heiblum

    The subject's opinion is not based on objective information and reproduces typical conceptual errors. Resource should ask what criteria led to publish this poor material and allow an informed and coherent response about this very important issue. Finding good candidates would not be a problem, since there are many well-informed women working and studing in the campus.

  • Marisol

    I don´t know where to start with your text. I´m trying to figure out a polite and constructive way to talk to you. Yet you´re right about something: ... WE don’t want men to help us, but WE do want YOU to change...

  • Rocio Aguilar Fernandez

    It is very surprising that Resourse publishes such an erroneous opinion. Flavio, you simplified your analysis so much that you missed the point. One thing is the problem of the widespread violence as a result of organized crime. That is real and important. Another problem is the violence that women have to face in a daily basis. Sadly, this is normalized in Mexico. It comes in many forms and levels, from passive violence in conversations, to serious physical and sexual attacks. It is also present in all socioeconomic levels, and in all regions of the country. One fight is not detrimental to the other.

  • Ekatherina

    Flavio, I invite you to read this report for your country about the violence against women.

    As you can see, there is a clear long-standing issue of violence against women. And, nobody is denying the clear criminal situation that countries in Latinoamerica are facing. Besides, I think there is a misunderstanding from your side what is violence. When we talk about violence, we don't talk only about killing, but it is also domestic violence causing physical and psychological damage, it is harassment, sexual abuse, etc. Violence against women is a systematic problem in Latinoamerican societies. And, by minimizing this problem, saying that "men don't hate-to-death women, people hate-to-death people" or "violence is against everyone, including women", you are undermining credibility to the real situation that 70% of women have to face day by day.

  • Cristina

    Appealing to the “vandalism” argument is just a way to down play the real problem which is violence against women in LA. Walls and monuments can be fixed but you cannot do that with those who have lost their lives simply because they are women. What these type of comments try to do is just perpetuate the status quo and not lose their privileges of violence over women.
    Also, pretty bad that Resource post this without a minimum filter.

  • Andrea

    “There are peaceful ways to make your voice heard”. I don’t think this is true in this particular context. The conversation that is being had right now in Mexico would probably not have happened had there not been so called “vandalism”. What is not mentioned (purposely or by ignorance) is that the "vandalous protest" took place a day after the brutal femicide of Ingrid Escamilla. Protests against gender-based violence have taken place for years and have only escalated recently, due to the impunity and lack of action from the society and the authorities.

    Every day, 10 women are killed in Mexico. “If we only focus on the female side”, it WILL solve something, it will keep more than half of the population safe. 10 mothers, sisters, daughters, wives, girlfriends and friends will be able to walk on the streets, go to school, go to work, have fun without the possibility of not returning home that day. Women in Mexico do not need men to “help them”, they need them not to patronise them, not to become the protagonists of the narrative, not to minimise their opinions and legitimate demands, not to harass them, not to abuse them, not to murder them.

    Violence against women in Mexico, and truthfully in the world, is largely perpetrated by relatives or romantic partners, people close to them, not organized crime. Indeed, actual data recovered by Mexican authorities show that around 80% of femicides are committed by men close to the victim. It stems from a deeply rooted belief that women are inferior to men.

    Meanwhile in… Wageningen, there is a ‘highly educated’ Mexican male who still doesn’t think that the main problem in Mexico is violence against women. Sadly, his opinion is not unlike that of a lot of other Mexican males. Perhaps he is right, the low levels of education are to blame.

  • Ekatherina

    Meanwhile in Mexico, 9 out of 10 women are killed every day!
    This is the reality, apparently uncomfortable for the author of this article.
    It is easy to write and talk out of knowledge. As a Latin woman, I found this article highly offensive because, in my country, like many other countries in LA, women are being killed massively. And, not necessarily by organized crime groups, but by family members, neighbors, police officers, and most important by the INDIFFERENCE OF THIS SOCIETY. It is a shame that a "well-educated" person wrote something like this. Therefore, is it a "low level of education" the real problem? I don't think so. In my opinion, the real problem is the invisibilization of violence against women. And no Flavio, we don't need your presence in the protests, we don't want your help, what we WANT and NEED is PLEASE men stop killing us!! And YES, we want men to change.

    • Ekatherina

      erratum: around 9 and 10 women are killed*

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  • Alejandro

    The typical behavior of Latin american (macho) guys against women protests: they get more upset about some broken windows, graffiti and insignificant bullshit, than living in a society in which their daughters, mother, aunts, friends, girlfriend and wife can be killed and raped on a daily basis.

  • Juliana

    “There are peaceful ways to make your voice heard”. If this is true, how is possible that the current protest has been preceded by many peaceful events against violence against women and still the horrifying statistics show that 10 women are killed every day in Mexico, not by organized crime but by relatives, partners and other people close to them. The neglect of this horrible fact has culminated in the current protest turning violent. Though it should not have been the case, this has so far been a way to give more fame to the topic. It actually saddens me to read that to you, as to many other people in Mexico, the vandalism seems to be the important part of this story, while this was merely an effect of neglecting the real problem.
    The author states that people start to question macho culture, but the figures on femicides clearly contradict this statement. Yes, problems such as low levels of education could contribute to this problem. But from my point of view it is mainly the result of the cultural viewpoint of male superiority in Mexican society. This is exemplified by the author, who himself a highly educated Mexican male proclaims that machism and violence against women are not mayor problems in Mexican society. Also the viewpoint of the author that women reject help from men on this matter while they do ask them to change speaks of this sense of superiority; is it unreasonable to demand from those men engaging in atrocities to change their behavior and allow women to be safe on the street, at work and at home? In the end a healthy society needs to arise from cooperation between men and women, but with the current inequalities we are a long way from achieving this.
    Of course the violence caused by organised crime saddens everyone, but it is no reason to neglect the exorbitantly violence against women rates, its effects and its sad consequences.

  • Raquel

    I totally disagree with this article, specially publishing it in a date so close to Women's day. The number of femicides in Mexico is HUGE (tens PER DAY) and the statistics are not different for the rest of Latinamerica. THIS IS A VERY DELICATE TOPIC FOR ALL LATINAMERICA and should be treated as such.
    Please, next time if you are going to discuss violence againts women, give the voice to someone who actually know about this or at least ask a women's opinion first.