Mexican Senator Ana Gabriela Guevara was viciously beaten last month in an attack she is describing as a hate crime.
On December 11, the Olympic medal-winning athlete-turned-politician was riding her motorcycle when a car hit her. She was knocked to the ground, though unhurt. Upset about the damage to her bike, she attempted to go after the fleeing driver, but was stopped when four men came out of a car and assaulted her, throwing brutal blows at her face, head and ribs.
Guevara believes the men attacked her because of her gender, not a far-fetched assumption considering the state of violence against women in Mexico is among the highest worldwide.
Following the attack, Guevara posted a photo of her face swollen and bruised on Twitter. The next day, she held a press conference at the Senate in Mexico City condemning the "cowardly and vile" crime and calling on her colleagues to take action on the issue of gender violence.
Surprisingly, her public reproach of the vile beating has largely been met with taunts. Thousands of Mexicans have taken to the Internet to make fun of Guevara.
"There have been all kinds of insults, men and women who have expressed they agree with the fact that I was beaten," she said in an interview with CNN. "Of course I have also received support and love from thousands of people."
In Guevara's successful career as an athlete, she was often body-shamed, ridiculed for appearing "too masculine," and humiliated by the International Olympic Committee, who conducted "femininity controls" to verify her gender.
Mexico’s attorney general’s office has identified the attackers. Among them: Fabian España, a former police officer.
Guevara has pledged to increase conversations on gender violence within the Senate.