MEXICO CITY – Nearly 40 percent of women who use the Mexico City metro have suffered some type of sexual harassment, while seven in every 600 female riders have been the targets of attempted kidnapping, according to survey results published on Tuesday by Mexican newspaper Reforma.
Sixty percent of all metro riders agreed that insecurity has increased in the system and 37 percent report having been victims of theft.
And 85 percent of passengers who experienced some type of incident in the subway decided against filing criminal complaints, mostly due to lack of time or mistrust in the authorities.
The same proportion of metro users – 85 percent – in the city say they have modified their travel routine due to fear of crime.
Many respondents said they have taken to concealing their belongings, traveling with only small amounts of cash and being careful in the choice of train cars.
For female metro riders, the above measures are often accompanied by changing the way they dress and avoiding travel at certain hours.
Yet fewer than half of those surveyed, 47 percent, said that the metro is more dangerous for women than for men, while 63 percent said they were largely satisfied with the service.
The poll was carried out Feb. 11-14 among 600 metro users 16 and older who were approached outside 30 different stations at various times of day.
Used by millions of passengers, Mexico City’s metro has become a thermometer of growing violence in the capital.
The alarm was sounded at the end of last month, when social media platforms were filled with accounts from riders denouncing robberies, sexual assaults and even attempted abductions on the metro.
On Feb. 1, the government of Mexico City announced that it was beefing up security on the system, which consists of 12 lines, with an emphasis on measures to prevent attacks against women.
The plan also calls for linking the metro system’s security cameras to C5, the capital’s public-safety control center.
The profile of a target for kidnapping on the subway is a woman of slight build between the ages of 20 and 25, according to the municipal district attorney’s office.