Mexican president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, more popularly known as Amlo, is facing backlash for his alleged failure to tackle Mexico’s femicide crisis. For years, Mexico has been plagued with gruesome killings of women and the bone-chilling numbers suggest things have only gotten worse since Amlo’s election in 2018.

An online map documenting Mexico’s death toll from femicide reveals that in 2016, six women were tortured and killed each day on the basis of their gender. When Amlo was elected in 2018, Mexicans saw a glimmer of hope, trusting that the supposedly progressive leader would make strides to address the grisly killings. However, the online map reveals that about 10 or 11 women are now being killed each day, making femicide an all-too-common occurrence in the Latin American country.

2020 has been a restless year for thousands of activists in Mexico. In February, reports of grim deaths of women splattered on newspapers and Amlo’s perceived indifference sparked national outrage, urging thousands of protesters to take to the streets to call for a concrete government action against the femicide epidemic.

For the past several weeks, calls for action have grown even louder as protesters continue to call attention to the Mexican government’s failure to issue any plan to prevent femicides. Protesters also lambast the media for giving too much space to the abusers’ testimonies and not enough respect to their female victims.

On March 8, tens of thousands of protesters are expected to flood the streets as part of the string of protests happening around the world in honor of International Women’s Day. Recent news of gruesome femicides in Mexico have also driven women to organize the first all-women labor strike in the country the following day, March 9.

In a recent protest, Frida Guerrera, a Mexican activist and blogger, implored Amlo to do more to combat their country’s femicide emergency. “I went because I don’t want to write any more stories—and because I truly believe we must treat this as a national emergency—and they do not want to accept this,” she said.

Instead of appeasing the protesters, however, Amlo attributed femicide to the neoliberal policies of previous administrations and accused feminists of being “covert conservatives” working to politically attack him. He even insinuated that the nationwide women’s strike on March 9 is nothing but a conservative plot against his government, enraging activists all the more.

Femicide Latinas protest and stand against femicide. The banner reads 'It could be your mother, daughter, girlfriend, friend, sister or any woman that surrounds you.' MARTIN BERNETTI/AFP/Getty Images