Protesters Hope to Draw Attention to Mexico
By Era Sundar
Protesters gathered today in front of the Mexican Consulate in Austin to draw attention to drug-related violence and human rights violations taking place in Mexico.
Members of “Mexicanos en Exilio” or Mexicans in Exile chanted slogans of freedom and justice as they marched from the Mexican Consulate to the State Capitol. The group rallied to bring awareness to the fate of activists who were imprisoned in Mexico City for protesting the inauguration of Mexican president Enrique Pena Nieto last December. Some of the activists remain in jail more than a year later. Alejadra Spector is with Mexicanos en Exilio.
“When you’re watching the news anywhere you hear a lot about the Middle East and other countries, but Mexico is often swept under the rug,” Spector said. “And it’s a shame because Texas [shares] the largest border with Mexico, and the United States is the largest trading partner with Mexico. So I just wish people would think about what’s happening there more often.”
The group also paid respects to Mexican human rights activist Maricela Escobedo, who was killed in Mexico. Her son, Juan Fraire Escobedo, carried a black, cardboard replica of a coffin in her memory.
“She was murdered in the Chihuahua City capital in front of the governor’s office during a protest demanding justice for the killing of my sister,” Fraire said.
Fraire’s sister was a victim of domestic violence. The family presented evidence against her killer to the Mexican authorities. But Escobedo says Mexican authorizes would not get involved because of the accused’s ties to organized crime.
An Amnesty International report published last week says 320 women were killed in the state of Chihuahua in 2010 and the bodies of at least 13 young women and girls were discovered outside of the city in the first three months of 2012.