Amlo ridiculed for saying Mexico’s feminist movement began two years ago

Backlash after Mexican president bizarrely claims movement had been formed to oppose his administration

Mexico’s president Andrés Manuel López Obrador has picked yet another fight with the country’s burgeoning feminist movement, saying it only started “two years ago” and bizarrely claiming it had been formed to oppose his administration.

Asked on Wednesday about a march in Mexico City for International Safe Abortion Day, the president spoke conspiratorially of the women’s movement, alleging it had become “conservative” – a term he uses to deride his critics.

“You have to see what’s behind it, because two years ago, when the feminist movement began, many women participated. But you started to realize they had become conservative feminists only to affect us, only for this purpose,” he said.

His remarks were the latest evidence of the populist leader’s hostility toward the feminist movement – which includes many people who previously supported him.

Mexican social media responded with ridicule and bewilderment.

“With this man, he believes everything revolves around him,” tweeted Martha Tagle, a former opposition senator.

“[López Obrador] doesn’t understand feminism and what little he does understand he considers it to be contrary to his political project,” said Bárbara González, a political analyst in Monterrey.

Some in the feminist movement expressed early hopes for López Obrador’s administration, which he promotes as the “fourth transformation” in Mexico’s history. He appointed a gender-balanced cabinet and named prominent former supreme court justice Olga Sánchez Cordero to the interior ministry.

But Sánchez Cordero was replaced in late August – and returned to the senate – after a low-profile period in what was traditionally Mexico’s most powerful cabinet position.

“The kind of woman that does politics acceptably for him is an ‘Adelita’,” González said, referring to the women who fought as foot soldiers in Mexico’s revolution of 1910. “It’s an archetype, the model of a woman that accompanies the transformation.”

The president’s comments come barely three weeks after the supreme court decriminalised abortion – a subject the president has barely mentioned.

The court decision followed waves of protests in Mexico and across Latin America as women took to the streets to demand action on issues such as sexual violence, abortion access and femicide.

A recent report from Amnesty International found that at least 10 women and girls are murdered in Mexico every day. Most of the cases go unpunished and families of the victims are often forced to carry out their own investigations.


David Agren

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Mexico’s Amlo proposes referendum on prosecuting country’s ex-presidents
Mexican president delivered document to senate asking for plebiscite to be held alongside midterms in June 2021

David Agren in Mexico City

15, Sep, 2020 @7:24 PM

Article image
Bolsonaro and Amlo slammed for snubbing coronavirus warnings
Brazilian and Mexican leaders mingle with public as critics say they should set example as outbreak grows

Tom Phillips in Rio de Janeiro and David Agren in Mexico City

15, Mar, 2020 @8:11 PM

Article image
'Amlo': the veteran leftwinger who could be Mexico's next president
A promise by Andrés Manuel López Obrador to tackle rampant corruption has helped propel him to frontrunner status but detractors paint him as an Hugo Chávez-style ‘tropical messiah’

David Agren in Villahermosa and Tom Phillips in Mexico City

07, May, 2018 @5:00 AM

Article image
Mexico elections: President Amlo fails to win super-majority in midterms
But president’s Morena party keeps its majority in the lower house of congress

David Agren in Mexico City

07, Jun, 2021 @6:57 PM

Article image
Amlo: five things to know about Mexico's new president
Mexico’s new leader writes books, is friendly with Jeremy Corbyn, and has more in common with Lula than Trump

Tom Phillips in Mexico City

02, Jul, 2018 @4:47 PM

Article image
'It's a comfy plane': Mexico's Amlo seeks buyer for presidential jet
Leftist president-elect has promised to travel on commercial flights in push to rule with frugality and restraint

Tom Phillips in Mexico City

12, Nov, 2018 @4:58 PM

Article image
'Frivolity and excess': Mexico's Amlo under fire over aide's lavish wedding
Critics attack leftwing president-elect for attending wedding of ally César Yáñez and Dulce Silva, which made the cover of ¡Hola!

David Agren in Mexico City

04, Oct, 2018 @8:03 PM

Article image
Mexico: Amlo says sale of presidential plane will fund migrant crackdown
Funds from sale of Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s jet will be put toward the deployment of the newly formed national guard

David Agren in Mexicali

12, Jun, 2019 @6:32 PM

Article image
Mexico's Amlo says El Chapo 'had the same power' as past presidents
López Obrador took a blow at his predecessors while claiming Mexico’s era of corruption is ‘gone to the garbage dump of history’

Staff and agencies in Mexico City

01, Jan, 2020 @7:12 PM

Article image
Mexican president Amlo calls on Bolivia to stop harassing diplomats
Comments further stoked diplomatic row between Mexico and Bolivia, which has descended into personal insults

David Agren

27, Dec, 2019 @11:03 PM