By Lourdes Chávez and Scarlett Arias
“Take me for what I am, because I will never change my colors for you,” says the lyrics of one of Violeta Fox’s favorite songs, I have nothing by Whitney Houston, an American singer who she imitates in her shows: of adrenaline, of energy, that tickle in the stomach when going on stage and giving it absolutely everything ”.
Violeta is originally from Acapulco, Guerrero, one of the nine municipalities in the entity with a Gender Violence Against Women Alert (AVGM). In the local elections of 2021, she was the first trans woman to compete as a candidate for a deputation; the Force for Mexico party was the one that invited her and supported her for District 04 in Acapulco.
Violeta Fox studied for a degree in public administration and is now also a nutrition student. He works at the Mexican Institute of Social Security (IMSS). She was Miss Trans Guerrero 2020, and she, like many other women members of minority groups, has been the victim of political violence against women based on gender.
“Guerrero is a macho and misogynistic society, it is not considered that a trans person can hold public office,” Violeta explains about the attacks or comments she received during her campaign; She also thinks that this moment has set a general guideline for the political participation of women, and of trans women.
Violeta assures that in the elections of June 6, 2021, the importance of women was noted because in Acapulco Abelina López won the mayoralty; and is that this region registered 16 percent of the cases, according to the First Report on Political Violence against Women in the State of Guerrero in the Ordinary Process 2020 – 2021, prepared by Equipos Feministas, AC, which accounted for a total of 45 actions or omissions between January 1 and June 14 of this year.
According to the Protocol to Address Political Violence against Women in Guerrero, this is intended to undermine or nullify the recognition, enjoyment and / or exercise of women’s political rights and can occur both in the public and private spheres, besides that it can be symbolic, verbal, patrimonial, economic, psychological, physical and sexual.
This means that it can be perpetrated by any person or group of people: State agents, work colleagues, political parties, or their representatives, the media. There are vulnerable groups that are more exposed to political violence against women based on gender, such is the case of trans, indigenous and Afro-Mexican women.
Muriel Salinas Díaz, general director of Equipos Feministas AC, an organization dedicated to strengthening the leadership and political participation of women, indicates in an interview that “if this (the aggressions) occurs in Chilpancingo —where in theory women have greater access to to information— imagine in indigenous contexts where the way the electoral system works, how the parity rule applies, and their rights in general, are often unknown ”.
The situation in electoral times becomes more aggressive and it is necessary to look to the future; For this reason, Muriel Salinas proposes that the parties have a specialized body that gives advice to victims of political violence based on gender, with a budget, technical and managerial autonomy; in addition to the creation of an Electoral Public Defender against Political Violence against Women on the basis of Gender, such as that of Indigenous Peoples and Communities, in the Electoral Tribunal of the Federal Judicial Branch (TEPJF).
They don’t give up
“Old women don’t know how to govern,” read one of the misogynistic phrases painted by the political opponents of Ruperta Nicolás Hilario, an indigenous Me’phaa woman.
The pints were in different points of the road, light poles, fences and houses in the municipality of Iliatenco, located in La Montaña de Guerrero, days before the elections of June 6, 2021. This and other forms of political violence against women Women on the basis of gender Ruperta has suffered, but despite everything, she does not give up.
Four of 45 cases documented in the First Report on Political Violence against Women in the State of Guerrero in the Ordinary Process 2020 – 2021 are of indigenous women, such as Eneida Lozano Reyes, aspiring councilor of the Municipal Government of Ayutla de los Libres, who He suffered death threats and harassment from opposing groups.
Or that of Edith Ramírez Santos, who at a press conference announced her resignation from a candidacy because she was pressured by the candidate for municipal president of the same political party, who argued that she was too young, “childish” and lacked experience.
The case of Juventina Asencio Iglesias is another in addition to those documented in the report by Equipos Feministas AC Until San Juan Tetelcingo, one of the Nahua towns of Alto Balsas, in the northern region of the state, the Morena party sought the defender of the territory against mining companies for 18 years, to be a candidate for federal deputy.
She started the pre-campaign in the towns of her municipality, Tepecoacuilco, Huitzuco, Atenango, Copalillo, Iguala, Taxco and Pilcaya, but everything concluded with a citizen electoral trial because the spaces assigned to the candidacies of representatives of the native peoples were usurped.
Juventina challenged the candidacy agreement that reached the Superior Chamber of the State Electoral Court, but the documents it presented were unknown to those who allegedly signed them. “I challenged, I won and they put another person who now serves as a councilor there in Chilapa, who did not register (in the internal process),” he regrets in an interview about what happened to him when he was erased from the records in Morena.
Despite everything, she says she is satisfied with the support she received from the towns in the pre-campaign; and he proudly tells that he never had problems communicating with sister peoples in other regions and states, because he understands several variants of Nahuatl. “Maybe I didn’t do much, but maybe I got to raise awareness. I must prepare more women and men too, with principles, with ethics and morals, with dignity ”, he comments.
Ruperta Nicolás Hilario, mayor of Iliatenco from 2018 to 2021, has also faced political gender violence throughout her government and in three political campaigns for the presidency of the Me’phaa municipality, in La Montaña de Guerrero.
It was she who was painted with the phrase: “Old women do not know how to govern” in 2021. In an interview, she explains that the opposition parties united against her re-election, because they knew they were at a disadvantage and began to intimidate her already his team.
“I do not agree that they treat a woman who has acceptance that way, no matter how much they want to be in power. Many people come from outside who see (the paint), and that affects, generates a rejection of the person ”, he mentions.
Although the federal court confirmed the political violence based on gender against Ruperta Nicolás, the votes did not favor her; But remember that when he won in 2018 it was difficult to reverse the aggressions during his tenure. “We do not want outsiders to come to govern us,” they said in reference to her husband, who is not from Guerrero, because they assumed that she would not make the decisions of her own management.
Ruperta points out the importance of women’s political participation. In his management, for example, he managed to have a police station and four delegates. “I believe that as women we must participate; I headed an administration and now there are delegates and a police station ”, he highlights as an example of progress.
The triumph of Afro-Mexicanity
After six years of partisan work, Marben de la Cruz Santiago is a deputy. With pride, he assumes his triumph and his Afro-Mexican identity to represent this community.