Mexican president calls for end to cover-ups of workplace abuse of women

Mexican president calls for end to cover-ups of workplace abuse of women. EFE

MEXICO CITY.- President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador called on Wednesday for an end to cover-ups of workplace abuse like the ones reported in recent days by women employed in different fields via the #MeToo movement.

«It’s a good issue to talk about … it’s sensitive, but we can’t hide anything, we have to reveal everything,» Lopez Obrador said during his daily press conference.

The #MeToo movement appeared in Mexico in March after women working in the music, literature and journalism industries reported many cases of abuse by male colleagues.

On March 21, Mexican communicator Ana Ge posted on her Twitter account that «a powerful man in literary circles,» whom she later identified as Herson Barona, had manipulated, impregnated and abandoned more than 10 women.

The accusation encouraged other women on Twitter to report various cases using the #MeToo movement that arose at the end of 2017 in the United States to condemn the harassment and sexual abuse by Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.

The accusations have impacted the world of culture and recently led bassist Armando Vega Gil, with the Mexican band Botellita de Jerez, to commit suicide.

On Monday, Vega Gil wrote on his Twitter profile that a woman had accused him of sexually assaulting her when she was only 13 years old via the hashtag #MeTooMusicosMexicanos (MeToo Mexican Musicians).
The accusation, which the artist denied, brought pressure from the media that evidently was too much for him to handle.

On the subject, Lopez Obrador – a former Mexico City mayor popularly known as AMLO – said Wednesday that it is a delicate matter but added that he «is considering how he should act to prevent it … and protect the dignity of both the accuser and the accused.

The upturn in the #MeToo movement has also sparked a counter-response from some men.

A Twitter account called MetooHombres (Metoo Men) appeared on April 1, in response to the «damage caused by the account @metoomusicamx.»

«We think someone should balance things out,» they wrote in the description of their profile where they encourage men «who have been harassed» to send them a direct message and speak up.

In three days, the account gained 8,478 followers and reported some censorship from the Twitter administration.

They also announced that they had received death threats.

«We have received all kinds of messages, beginning with death threats for our CEO, kidnappings, insults,» the group wrote on Twitter on Tuesday, but they added that they have gained support from both men and women.

At his press conference, the president also reported progress in containing the wave of violence that has plagued Mexico.

Lopez Obrador said that almost half of the states in Mexico did not register any murders on Tuesday, but he asked everyone to remember that victory should not be declared just yet.

«Yesterday (Tuesday), for example – this makes me happy, but we shouldn’t call it a victory yet – there were 15 states with no homicides out of the 32,» Lopez Obrador, the founder and leader of the leftist National Regeneration Movement (Moreno) said.

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