By Fátima Vargas-Lopez
Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico
Mexico is starting one of its biggest elections, with hundreds of mayoralties, Senate seats and Representative positions up for grabs. Amidst the start of campaigns in Mexico, accusations have come to light about candidate Felix Salgado Macedonio, who is currently running for governor in the State of Guerrero. As a retired politician, he re-entered the political ring in 2018 with the support of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and his party, MORENA. Several women have accused Macedonio of sexual assault. These allegations are being investigated, but he has not been found guilty yet.
Consequently, thousands of women around the country have expressed their anger on social media. Writer Alma Delia Murillo was one of the pioneers of this now viral phrase, by tweeting an image of herself holding a sign that read: “President, Break The Deal." Many believe that the deal refers to the pact whereby men will not face consequences for their violence towards women. The president has remained neutral and said that if the people have chosen, he will not go against their will. However, thousands of women and men online have continued to ask for his sympathy for the victims and to take a stand against violence towards women.
Macedonio, who has been linked to a prostitution network in the past, has refused to speak out in his defense. On February 16, he was officially registered to run for governor of the State of Guerrero. This caused commotion among his party. Representatives Wendy Briceño, Lorena Villavicencio, Laura Imelda Pérez and Rocío Villarauz called for the leader of MORENA to take a stand with the victims in their cry for justice and to clearly ban people with such accusations from taking public office. Party leader Mario Delgado has refused since “there are still no rulings against him.” The president in his daily morning briefing said, “Ya chole,” meaning “enough already,” in response to a question on his stance on the candidate after the social media uproar.
As a result, feminist groups have protested the candidature outside Palacio Nacional, where the president lives and works. During these protests, so far one woman has been injured by the police. The social media turmoil continues with men and women asking for justice for the victims.