President of Mexico barricades palace ahead of women’s march

President of Mexico barricades palace ahead of women’s march

Banners with messages directed at Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador hang from a perimeter fence set up in front of the National Palace as preparation for the upcoming International Women’s Day demonstration, in Mexico City, Friday, March 5, 2021. Marked on March 8th, the day has been sponsored by the United Nations since 1975, to celebrate women’s achievements and aims to further their rights. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)

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UPDATED 7:45 PM PT – Saturday, March 6, 2021

The president of Mexico defended his decision to place a barrier across the presidential palace in order to block off protesters on International Women’s Day. On Saturday, the Mexican president said the 10 foot barrier was put up to avoid provocation and protect historic buildings.

People walk past a perimeter fence set up in front of the National Palace in preparation for the upcoming International Women's Day demonstration, in Mexico City, Friday, March 5, 2021. The colonial-era palace is located on the city’s vast central plaza, and is where President Andrés Manuel López Obrador lives and works. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)

People walk past a perimeter fence set up in front of the National Palace in preparation for the upcoming International Women’s Day demonstration, in Mexico City, Friday, March 5, 2021. The colonial-era palace is located on the city’s vast central plaza, and is where President Andrés Manuel López Obrador lives and works. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)

 

Barriers were also installed around other historic structures in Mexico City. Critics of the measure said the move demonstrated the president’s lack of concern for violence affecting women in the country.

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - MARCH 08: A demonstrator paints a graffiti that reads "we are not numbers, we are lives" during a rally on International Women's Day on March 8, 2020 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Toya Sarno Jordan/Getty Images)

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO – MARCH 08: A demonstrator paints a graffiti that reads “we are not numbers, we are lives” during a rally on International Women’s Day on March 8, 2020 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Toya Sarno Jordan/Getty Images)

 

“They have every right to protest, to express themselves, to demonstrate,” President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador stated. “There is so much provocation, many people who infiltrate. Last time they threw bombs, explosives at the door of the National Palace. And it is not just affecting property that is historical, but it is also causing harm to people.”

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - MARCH 08: Demonstrators gather during a rally on International Women's Day on March 8, 2020 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Toya Sarno Jordan/Getty Images)

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO – MARCH 08: Demonstrators gather during a rally on International Women’s Day on March 8, 2020 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Toya Sarno Jordan/Getty Images)

 

In 2020, tens of thousands marched on International Women’s Day during the same year more than 900 women in Mexico fell victim to femicide.

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