Feminists In Sonora ‘Take Over’ Human Rights Commission Office

By Kendal Blust
Published: Tuesday, September 15, 2020 - 5:23pm
Updated: Wednesday, September 16, 2020 - 9:40am

 Human Rights Commission office
Ni Una Menos Sonora
Women protested gender-based violence in Sonora and Mexico by taking control of the Human Rights Commission office in Hermosillo, Sonora, on Sept. 14, 2020.

Earlier this month, feminists in Mexico City stormed into the National Human Rights Commission and took control of the building in protest of continued violence against women in Mexico. On Monday, a group of women took over the commission’s office in Sonora.

The Sonoran Human Rights Commission office was already closed and no one was inside when a group of women symbolically took control of the building Monday. Wearing black masks, they covered the outside with red caution tape, spray paint and signs decrying violence against women and girls, and photographs of those who have been killed or disappeared.

"Like the women in Mexico City, we believe the National Human Rights Commission is a failed, inefficient and neglected institution," a masked woman shouted in a video posted to the group's Facebook page. "That's why we're joining the takeover of the CNDH with a symbolic act, and in solidarity with our counterparts. We support all of the brave mothers looking for their daughters, and all of the survivor families that are seeking justice for those who have been murdered."

The woman said feminists in Sonora will continue holding demonstrations until they see real change.

The takeover of the Human Rights Commission is the latest in a series of protests, marches and other actions by feminist collectives in Mexico, who say they will no longer take violence, abuse and disappearances quietly. They have said they want an end to impunity for perpetrators, and are angry about what they consider a dismissive and insufficient response by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and other officials to the ongoing killings, kidnappings and sexual assaults reported daily across the country.

After taking over the federal commission building in Mexico City on Sept. 3, activists covered the building with anti-police posters and signs remembering some of the many women who have been killed or disappeared. An artist tore down and painted over portraits of Mexican historical figures - all men - hanging on the commission building walls. And protesters say outrage over the property destruction on the part of officials is proof that Mexican leaders value paintings and building more than women’s lives.

Activists in Mexico City still have control of the federal building. They say they have converted it into a women’s shelter.

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