What is behind AMLO’s confusing rhetoric surrounding violence against women?

Protestors cover barricades designed to keep them out with the names of murdered women. Photo: Courtesy
Protestors cover barricades designed to keep them out with the names of murdered women. Photo: Courtesy

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador acknowledged that reported femicides have increased during his time in office.

However, the president claimed that the 8.5% increase in femicides was likely not due to a real increase in cases, but rather more accurate reporting. 

The acknowledgment came just a few days after a woman from El Salvador died from a spinal fracture under police custody in Tulum.

Critics of the president, including several feminist and human rights organizations, argue that AMLO has not done enough to combat violence against women. 

When asked if he considers himself to be a feminist, AMLO has on several occasions dodged the question by answering that he sees himself as a humanist. 

Over his time in office, the president has made a series of controversial claims which are seen by critics as an attempt to minimize the problem of violence against women. 

For instance, last May, AMLO suggested that 90% of all 911 calls made to report cases of violence against women are fake.

“The president does not get it at all. It’s true that the epidemic of violence against women is a problem for him, but it goes beyond that. He is willfully ignorant about the facts because they blatantly fly in the face of the image which he wants to project,” said the podcast host Muñe on a recent episode of the Maldita Sea.

Earlier: AMLO: States free to decide when schools will open again

The president has also come under intense criticism for his support of Félix Salgado Macedonio, a candidate for the governorship of the state of Guerrero.

This despite the fact that Salgado Macedonio has been accused of several crimes — including sexual abuse, stalking and rape — dating back to the late 1990s. 

However, none of the charges have stuck, in part due to the fact that they happened too long ago to warrant prosecution under Mexico’s statute of limitations.

This year’s protests on international women’s day required the federal government to erect large barricades to protect several key government buildings, including the president’s residence at Palacio Nacional. 

As on several past occasions, the president argued that the protests were not legitimate, as they were “orchestrated by political rivals.”

Carlos Rosado van der Gracht

Born in Mérida, Carlos Rosado van der Gracht is a Mexican/Canadian blogger, photographer and adventure expedition leader. He holds degrees in multimedia, philosophy and translation from universities in Mexico, Canada and Norway.