Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Mexico: Politician Criticized for Slurs Against Indigenous Women

On Tuesday, Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant said that problems in the U.S. educational system began when “mom got in the workplace.”  His comments on women and education weren’t the only recent eyebrow-raising remarks made by an official in the Americas.

Domingo Gómez Díaz, a Mexican politico from the town of Nichnamtic in Chiapas, attended a May 26th high school graduation ceremony for several hundred indigenous Tzotzil women.  Upon seeing that several of the graduates were women, Gómez Díaz reportedly took to the stage with other officials.

“It’s a shame that pregnant women should study since their only use is in the kitchen and to work in the fields,” Gómez Díaz allegedly declared in front of the crowd.  He further barred sixty-seven pregnant women who were supposed to receive their diplomas during the ceremony. 

“Equal treatment of women should exist because aside from being hardworking mothers and heads of household we decided to go to school and not continue being ignorant and illiterate.  We want to provide with all our hearts a better future for our children” read part of a letter to Chiapas governor Manuel Velasco Coello from some of the women banned from graduating.   The communiqué also accused other local politicians who along with Gómez Díaz stood opposed to their graduating.

Velasco Coello’s office replied on Tuesday by ordering that a graduation ceremony will take place for the sixty-seven pregnant women.  The governor’s message also noted that the women will receive a special recognition for “the example they provide to other women and indigenous girls.” 

Although the message did not mention Gómez Díaz by name, it did warn that “the full force of the law will be used against those” who cut the May 26th event short.

Gómez Díaz’ actions coincidentally occurred on the same day that Jorge Durán Silva, a Bogotá, Colombia councilman, publicly called lesbians “sluts.”  He would later apologize for his ugly actions.

Ecuadorian ambassador to Peru Rodrigo Riofrio, meanwhile, was recalled from his post nearly a month ago after an altercation with female customers at a Lima supermarket:
One of the two women involved in the scuffle with Riofrio said the altercation began when she and her daughter cut in front of him as he stood in a Lima supermarket check-out line on April 21, according to a news report by Peru’s DiaD television station. Riofrio insulted the women and the daughter hit the ambassador first, according to the report. 

Riofrio said in an April 29 statement e-mailed by the Ecuadorean Foreign Ministry that he was sorry for the “personal incident” and didn’t provoke the fight. Riofrio denied he insulted the women and said he only defended himself from the women’s attacks.
Videos distributed by Peruvian newspaper La Republica show a man identified as Riofrio punching and kicking a woman at a supermarket in Peru’s capital.
Video Source– YouTube via UNICEF (This 2012 video depicts Mexican community centers aimed at helping indigenous children).

Online Sources – Washington Post; Milenio; El Tiempo de Oaxaca; Terra Colombia; Bloomberg

No comments: