Protesters tore down fences outside the National Palace and vandalized buildings in Mexico City on International Safe Abortion Day. More than 20 female police officers were hurt in the clashes, a senior security official said.
Women marched across Mexico’s capital and other cities on Tuesday, banging drums and wearing green scarves, which have become the signs of reproductive rights in Latin America.
“Abortion – yes, abortion – no, that’s for me to decide,” the activists chanted, and “We must abort the system of the patriarchy,” and “Take your rosaries out of our ovaries.”
The termination of pregnancies is severely restricted in most parts of Mexico. In September, the country’s top court set a possible precedent by ordering the northern state of Coahuila to decriminalize abortion.
Members of the extreme left-wing Black Bloc also participated in the protests. Wearing black and pink ski masks, they smashed the windows of an independent University of Mexico State campus with hammers and vandalized its walls with spray cans.
On their way downtown, protesters clashed with police. Some were filmed shooting spray-paint at officers’ confront shields.
A group of protesters also tried using spray cans to set fires to the fence surrounding the capital’s main Catholic church.
Others attempted to extent the fence that protects a tall monument to Mexico’s independence.
Once the crowd gathered outside the National Palace, the official residence of the country’s president, people tore down some of the fencing.
Firecrackers were used, creating thick plumes of smoke. Local media quoted protesters claiming that firecrackers were set off by the police.
Marcela Figueroa, Mexico City’s top security official, denied this, saying the officers carried only personal protective gear, helmets and shields, and some carried fire extinguishers.
Some policewomen wore green and pink masks to show solidarity with reproductive rights and feminist causes.
Figueroa said that 37 people were injured during the protests, including 27 female officers, a government official and nine civilians.
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