8M Protest/Mexico Has Access to New COVID-19 VaccineBy Paloma Duran | Tue, 03/09/2021 - 11:19
Wall decreased violence during 8M. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador assured that the fences around the National Palace and other monuments erected ahead of a planned protest march on Monday, March 8, helped to prevent violent confrontations between feminist groups and the authorities. In addition, López Obrador said that with the wall, the authorities were able to evade harassment and that they did not fall into the trap of violence. “I am glad that the wall helped, because it was clear that they wanted to destroy the National Palace. The men also protested and as always, there were infiltrators. If they had come face to face with the policewomen, there would have been many risks; fortunately, the wall helped to stop the provocation, although they brought torches and hammers; however, people were not injured,” López Obrador said. Nevertheless, López Obrador acknowledged that some policewomen suffered burns but their injuries were not serious. In a video press conference, authorities said that in Mexico City, 81 people were injured; 62 policemen and 19 civilians, of which nine policemen and one civilian were transferred to hospitals, where they remain in stable condition.
Not many protesters for 8M because they do not agree with violence: AMLO. López Obrador said that, during yesterday's march for women’s rights and equality, the Zocalo was not at full capacity because citizens do not support violence. For this reason, López Obrador assured that respect for human rights and non-violence will continue to be promoted among policemen, sailors and the military. "I ask for your understanding and at the same time I express my sincere thanks to all the police officers, especially the policewomen, to their families, because not responding to violence also helps a lot," López Obrador added. According to Publimetro, around 20,000 women protested in Mexico City, which was below the previous year’s figure due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
No repression? López Obrador said his government is different because it is not a government of repressors and seeks to promote human rights and non-violence, along with persuading the population to avoid aggression. "The truth is even sad shameful because people do not agree with this, they cannot agree. There are many women, millions, who defend the cause of women's equality, but not in that way. This is why we must raise awareness that violence is not the way," López Obrador said. In addition, López Obrador recognized that women have the right to fight and "do everything" to avoid gender violence and equality; however, they should respect the law. "In this movement, there are women who sincerely defend the cause of equality; however, there are also many infiltrators who want to weaken the government," López Obrador said.
According to feminist groups, policemen used tear gas and rubber bullets against the protestors. In addition, there were suspected snipers on the roof of the National Palace. Reporter Dalila Escobar said that security elements dispersed the protesters with fire extinguishers. Feminist groups also denounced the firing of firecrackers, arbitrary arrests and confrontations between police and protesters, among others. The authorities have stated that they did not carry out these actions while accusing their opponents and protesters, reported El Financiero.
Mexico has access to a new COVID-19 vaccine. Minister of Foreign Affairs (SRE) Marcelo Ebrard announced that Mexico will receive doses of China’s Sinopharm vaccine, which will accelerate the vaccination rate. Ebrard announced that the country is expected to purchase 12 million doses of the vaccine between March and June. The country is also buying more doses of the Chinese Sinovac vaccine. "The early access contract to Sinovac was extended and the option of the Sinopharm vaccine was opened to us. As a result, we are going to add 10 million doses of Sinovac, which is already being implemented, and the Sinopharm vaccine," Ebrad said.
The Sinopharm vaccine is based on an inactivated virus. The Sinopharm Company developed it in collaboration with the Wuhan Institute of Virology and the Institute of Biological Products. Phase III trials have been conducted in 10 countries, including the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Peru, Morocco, Argentina, Jordan and Pakistan. The United Arab Emirates approved the Sinopharm vaccine in January and said it is 86 percent efficient, BBC reported.
Accelerating vaccination in Mexico. López Obrador called on brigades to increase the vaccination rate in Mexico. “We already have enough vaccines. I remember the days when we vaccinated the most were between 150,000 and 300,000 daily doses. We have to continue at this rate using all the vaccines we have and that is why we need the brigades to continue working,” said López Obrador. In addition, López Obrador announced that today 600,600 doses of the Pfizer vaccine arrived in Mexico, which were sent to Mexico City, Guadalajara and Queretaro.
Ambulances purchased with bonuses from public officials. Director of the Mexican Institute of Social Security (IMSS) Zoé Robledo announced the first use of 24 ambulances that were purchased with the Christmas bonuses donated by public officials last year. “Based on the contributions that officials made during the pandemic, we were able to purchase ambulances, which are so necessary and will be of great help to hospitals. We have 24 new ambulances, 20 more are being purchased and the rest are in production. At the end of this month, all of them will be ready to be used,” said Robledo.
Medicine supply for the rest of López Obrador administration. López Obrador announced that the drugs required by the health sector will soon be guaranteed for the rest of his term. López Obrador said that there is a shortage of medicines; however, he announced that the first tenders for medicines have been made and there is constant communication with South Korea and India. López Obrador explained that before Mexico could not buy medicines from abroad "because the law prohibited it;” however, now with the agreement with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the United Nations Organization (UN) for the purchase of drugs, medical equipment and vaccines and the reform of the Procurement Law, Mexico will "have access to all good quality medicines from other countries at low prices.”
Click HERE for full transcript in Spanish