Millions of Mexican women have stayed away from offices, schools and government agencies to join a second day of marches to protest against violence and macho culture, as an eerie quiet fell on normally bustling streets and factories.
The wildcat strike on Monday, dubbed "a day without us", was intended to show what life would be like if women vanished from society. It followed a series of massive protests on Sunday to mark International Women's Day.
In the northern Mexican city of Ciudad Juarez, on the border with the United States, factories stood unusually quiet as many women stayed home.
"I don't even want to think if this went on for a prolonged period of time," said Luis Carrillo, a manager at NPD Technology, which makes electronic parts for automatic doors in a city famed for its numerous assembly plants.
"There would be huge losses," he said, adding the company was proud to support its overwhelmingly female workforce and viewed the protests as positive.
Mexico's work stoppages drew indigenous Zapatista women in the south and foreign ministry employees in the capital into a protest that sought to illustrate what life would be like without them.
A video posted online showed the empty desks of foreign ministry workers. Notes posted on chairs bemoaned violence against women.
Last week, leftist President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador angered many women by suggesting the protest movement had been infiltrated by conservatives and other critics of his government.
Elsewhere in Latin America, in Chile women wearing medical uniforms, industrial overalls and school uniforms joined a march down a central thoroughfare of Santiago, the capital, to congregate outside President Sebastian Pinera's office.
According to a poll published late last week by newspaper El Financiero, 67 per cent of Mexicans surveyed said they supported the stoppage, while 57 per cent of women said they planned to join.
The protests are focused on a surge in femicides, or gender-motivated killings of women.
Such killings have risen 137 per cent in the past five years, government statistics show, as gang violence pushed the murder tally to record heights. Most violent crime in Mexico goes unsolved.
Australian Associated Press