Marchers in Mexico City demand justice for rapes

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Protesters in Mexico City on Monday demanded justice for two teenage girls who have said police officers raped them. The marchers doused the capital’s security minister in pink glitter and smashed the glass doors of the local prosecutor’s office.

About 250 people, mostly women, shouting: “Justice,” took to the streets to protest the lack of punishment in the two cases, the latest to trigger outrage over the high rate of violence against women and girls in Mexico.

Mexico City Minister of Security Jesus Orta appealed for calm as the march turned rowdy, greeting the protesters in person and telling them: “These cases have not been closed… We’re on your side.”

However, protesters responded by covering him in pink glitter and spray-painting a group of police officers standing guard. They also displayed a pig’s head outside the local prosecutor’s office.

Masked demonstrators later hurled rocks at the building, shattering the glass entrance.

The protests were sparked by two recent cases: that of a 17-year-old girl who has said that four police officers raped her in their patrol car as she left a party on the capital’s north side, and that of a 16-year-old girl who has said that a police officer raped her at the Mexico City Photography Archive Museum, in the city’s center.

No officers have been detained or punished so far in the first case. A police officer was arrested on Thursday in the second.

Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum — the first woman elected to the post — said that she sympathized with the protesters, but condemned their actions.

“There need to be investigations [in the two cases]… But this was not a protest, it was a provocation. They wanted the government to respond with violence, but we’re not going to do that,” she told a news conference.

Local prosecutor Ernestina Godoy said on Twitter that “various investigations” are under way in the cases.

Nine women are murdered in Mexico every day, the UN said.