A Mexican senator and former Olympic medalist who was assaulted by four men on Sunday is asking witnesses who captured the attack on their cellphones to come forward. “I urge whoever recorded it to make it public, so people will know how it happened,” said Ana Gabriela Guevara at a conference on Tuesday in the Mexican Senate. “There’s been enough violence.”
Guevara, 39, arrived in the upper house wearing a pink tracksuit and a bandage on her left hand. But photographers were pointing their cameras at her face. The representative of the left-wing Labor Party (PT) removed her sunglasses, exposing her swollen right eye.
Her right cheekbone was fractured in three places after one of her attackers kicked her in the face.
“I want people to see me,” said Guevara. “This mark is a constant reminder that I will do whatever it takes to battle violence against women.”
This is a cowardly act. I have always been a simple citizen, I don’t have a chauffeur or bodyguards
Ana Gabriela Guevara, senator
Guevara explained that after exiting the Mexico-Toluca road at the Valle de Bravo junction on her motorcycle, she ran into a traffic jam. She weaved in and out of traffic and positioned herself in the fast lane. Then, a car with Mexico State plates suddenly rammed her, knocking the motorcycle to the ground, she said.
The politician got up and confronted the driver about the damage to her Harley Davidson. But the four passengers, all men, responded with insults. Two of them, a father and son, got out of the vehicle with the older man trying to hit Guevara.
“There were two other individuals behind me. I fell to the ground and all four began to kick me,” she said. The blow that shattered her cheekbone prompted her to curl up in the fetal position and use her helmet to protect her face. The assault lasted a little under a minute.
“This is a cowardly act,” said Guevara, unable to hold back tears. “I have always been a simple person, I don’t have a chauffeur or bodyguards. I am always encouraging civic behavior among people. I believe in my country and this is where we have to do our work.”
Guevara, known to Mexicans for earning a silver medal at the 2004 Athens Games in the 400-meter dash, said she did not identify herself as a senator while she was being attacked.
“It was hard for them to identify me because I was wearing glasses and my helmet... I took every single blow they delivered.”
Afterwards, Guevara got back on her motorcycle and drove until she found a police patrol. At that point, she could no longer see properly. She was taken to a hospital in Mexico City, and underwent surgery on Monday.
Agradezco la atenciones de tod@s quienes han estado pendientes de mí y mi salud, eh salido de quirófano bien a recuperar la cirugía pic.twitter.com/byhwCs19Hz— AnaGuevara (@AnaGGuevara) December 13, 2016
“Thanks to everyone who enquired about me and my health, I am out of surgery, now it's time to recover.”
The next day, Guevara walked into the Senate and asked for her attackers to be brought to justice. Authorities have already identified the vehicle, which is registered to the name of a woman in Coacalco, in Mexico State.
English version by Susana Urra.