While some denounced that it was gender violence, others considered that it was just a “tradition”.
The president of Mexico, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, condemned this Monday that some of his supporters beat and burned a pinata with the figure of the president of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation, Norma Pina.
The images that sparked controversy and populated social networks and the media were recorded on Saturday, during the march for the 85th anniversary of the oil expropriation that the president led in the Zocalo of Mexico City.
“This type of act should not be carried out. It is not the best. I think there are ways to protest without going to those extremes. I condemn those acts, there is no need,” he said.
He also called for seeing opponents as adversaries, not enemies.
“Acts such as burning the image of Minister Norma Pina should not be carried out, it is not the best and I think there are ways to protest without going to those extremes, I CONDEMN these acts”: Lopez Obrador @lopezobrador_ on the burning of the image of the president of the Supreme Court pic.twitter.com/1tE10Bnkj3
– Salvador Zaragoza Andrade (@SalvadorZA) March 20, 2023
“We are not the same as the conservatives. They see us as enemies to destroy, not as adversaries to defeat and we cannot act in the same way. you have to be respectful“, he pointed.
Lopez Obrador recalled that the movement he leads has been and is peaceful, because it makes a constant call not to hate and to assert “love of neighbor.”
He also considered that those who burned the pinata of the president of the Supreme Court represent minority expressions.
“Most people are very aware that they must continue fighting peacefully and we are doing very well. We must not give reasons to the conservatives, who are very hypocritical. That should not happen in any case, but when they burned my figure, nobody complained, “he said.
Among the thousands of protesters who came to support Lopez Obrador, a group drew attention because they brought a pinata of the minister, which they began to insult, then beat up, and finally burned it amid shouts of merriment, which unleashed Mainly two types of reactions.
On the one hand, Criticism of this form of repudiation abounded in the midst of the incessant violence suffered by Mexicoin addition to representing a lack of respect for the division of powers and symbolically revives gender violence in a country where more than a dozen women are victims of femicide on a daily basis.
Some even blamed these acts on the speeches that Lopez Obrador usually gives in his conferences morning In this particular case, the president has frequently insulted the president of the Court, who on January 2 became the first woman to hold this position.
How symbolic that the figure of Minister Norma Pina was burned during the march. The symbolism of hatred of counterweights. The symbolism of hatred for judicial independence. The symbolism of hatred for women in positions of power.
—Ceci Kalach (@KalachCeci) March 19, 2023
The president’s supporters, on the contrary, considered that burning pinatas is “a tradition” and that it usually happens with politicians of all kinds, even with Lopez Obrador himself.
Also They ruled out that it was gender-based violence. and they minimized the images by pointing out that, in reality, it only represents a criticism of the Judiciary.
From the ruling party, the criticism of the senator and former Secretary of the Interior, Olga Sanchez Cordero, stood out, who recalled that Pina worked with her when she was a minister of the Supreme Court.
Regardless of this, displays of intolerance towards him and towards the institution he represents are inadmissible. Violence is never the answer“, he claimed.
I have known Minister President Pina for 25 years, as she was my Study Secretary and account at the @SCJN. Regardless of this, displays of intolerance towards his person and towards the institution he represents are inadmissible. Violence is never the answer.
— Olga Sanchez Cordero (@M_OlgaSCordero) March 19, 2023
Beatriz Gutierrez Muller, writer and wife of Lopez Obrador, also joined the questioning of this type of protest.
“Not turning freedom into licentiousness is key to living and coexisting in a plural and democratic country like ours. My support to all women in politics (or circumstantially close to it) before the vexation of their persons or image, or that of their children. I have suffered so much, how can I not show solidarity? Let’s level up. Nonviolence. Urgently more love,” she wrote on her social media.
Opposition deputies, senators, politicians and journalists also repudiated the burning of the pinata. On the other hand, he highlighted a statement issued by 51 female journalists.
“It is inadmissible that violence against the Judiciary of the Federation be promoted and tolerated from a march called by the Executive Power and with the presence of the president (…) the attacks that from the presidential rostrum have occurred in recent weeks against the minister have provoked violent reactions that put her integrity at risk,” they said.
What happened with Pina, they added, is especially serious because it has a component of gender violence. “In a country where 11 women are murdered every day for being women and hundreds of physical assaults occur that remain unpunished,” they said.
Setting fire to a pinata belonging to Norma Pina, Prime Minister President, is a symbol of political gender violence. Even more so in a femicide country. There are no possible justifications. It is not about partisan differences, nor about protesting, nor about a ‘joke’. It is sexual violence.
— Mariana Lemon Rugerio (@marianaliru) March 19, 2023
One of the most repeated arguments to minimize the impact of the images of the figure of the burnt minister was that it is “a tradition”, a way of expressing repudiation of a public figure.
“Burning effigies has been a form of protest for years, what happened to Minister Pina is something never seen before,” wrote a user.
“In 2020 feminists burned AMLO’s pinata, in 2018 teachers burned figures of Aurelio Nuno and Elba Esther Gordillo, migrants to Ebrard or in 2014 from Pena,” recalled another.
Some more insisted that burning the figure of Pina only represents a repudiation of the Judiciary and is in no way an attack based on gender issues. They also warned that “conservatives” are scandalized by this type of protest but say nothing about the women who are murdered, such as the recent case of the six young women who were found burned to death in the state of Guanajuato.