A shocking highway attack on a high-profile female senator and former Olympic track star is raising serious concerns about road rage and violence against women in Mexico.
Ana Gabriela Guevara, an Olympic-medalist-turned-politician for Mexico’s left-leaning Worker’s Party (PT), was assaulted on Sunday night when a van reportedly crashed into her motorcycle on a busy highway in the State of Mexico. The senator from Sonora says she got off her bike and “hit” the driver’s side window with her hand to get the guy to stop and exchange information so she could call her insurance company.
Instead of cooperating, the driver allegedly insulted her and then got out of the vehicle with three other men.
“For several minutes they attacked me with blows and kicks, mainly in my face and ribs,” Guevara said in a press release. “Once they stopped, they got in the van and left.”
The senator added, “I’m very worried about the tragic state of violence women are subject to and I hope authorities can track down these four individuals.”
Guevara was taken to a hospital, where doctors operated on her face.
The former Olympian gave a tearful press conference on Tuesday to recount the traumatic episode.
“I don’t have bodyguards. I don’t have a chauffeur. I ride my motorcycle,” Guevara said wiping away tears. “I believe in my country, and I believe we need to work to stop violence and not promote more violence. I never thought this would happen …and it happened to me.”
One of Guevara's friends who was in another motorcycle tried to film the incident on her cellphone, but was pushed to the ground by one of the men. The video is now making the rounds on Mexican social media:
The Mexican Attorney General’s Office (PGR) says it is investigating the incident and has identified at least two of the aggressors. So far no arrests have been made.
The highway attack seems to be part of a growing trend of road rage violence that’s affecting motorists and cyclists in Mexico City. It's also, Guevara says, an attack against women in a country that’s increasingly gaining notoriety for its alarming rate of femicides and sexual violence.