Monday, June 27

ten women are murdered every day


“In Mexico we don’t know how many femicides are committed, it is impossible to know. It is the agents of the Public Ministry who decide to open the investigation folder and classify it as femicide, homicide or even suicide.” That’s how he asserts Edith Olivares Ferretoexecutive director of Amnesty International (AI) in Mexico, who adds in an interview with The newspaper that, despite the growing feminist movement and the legal and institutional structures that exist in the country, the deficiencies in the investigations send a message of impunity to the aggressors.

Despite not knowing the exact figures, it is clear that Mexico is experiencing a crisis of violence against women that doesn’t stop. The murder of Debanhi Escobar has been one of the last in Mexico and has shocked the country. Thirteen days after Escobar was declared missing, the 18-year-old was found dead inside the tank of a hotel and had been the victim of sexual abuse. This event has caused a massive response of Mexican society, but it is not the only case, since in the first three months of 2022 they were murdered about ten women a daycounting cases classified as intentional homicides and femicides.

Specifically, according to data from the Executive Secretariat of the National Public Security System (SESNSP) of Mexico, there have been 229 femicides from January to March of 2022 -the last month for which figures are published- and there have been 628 female homicide victims willful Adding both, they have been murdered 857 women in the first 89 days of 2022, that is, there are almost 10 women murdered daily in Mexico.

Femicides have clear definition in the Penal Code of Mexico. They are that criminal behavior that a person commits when he deprives a woman of life for gender reasons and Mexican laws explain in detail when this motivation exists. However, Olivares points out that this legislation “is not necessarily known to the agents of the Public Ministry, who are the ones who open the research folder”.

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Impunity of the aggressors

In this context, the AI ​​representative adds that the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN) concluded in a sentence in 2015 after the feminicide of Mariana Lima Buendía that the authorities should apply the gender perspective and investigate the deaths of women as femicides. “If it is not proven that it is a femicide, it can be turned into a homicide. But if the investigation is not initially opened as a femicide, it is more risky that all the evidence that could prove it will be lost, ”explains Olivares.

Although there are prosecutors that are serving the sentence, Olivares regrets that later the investigation not continuing, so “the cases go unpunished.” In fact, the figures are scandalous and there is impunity in the 98% of crimes in the Mexican country. “Femicides, obviously, are not the exception,” she points out, while he considers that impunity as a “characteristic sign” in the country, which “sends a tolerance message in the face of violence”.

In the same line, Regina Tamesdeputy director of the women’s rights division of Human Rights Watch (HRW)calls for an end to this impunity and points to the authorities -both police officers, prosecutors, public ministries or judges-, who must be “sensitized, but above all they must understand the gender dimensions when carrying out their work”, he explains in an interview with The newspaper.

Likewise, Olivares adds that “the omissions that are shown in the cases are absolutely constant”. In this regard, he details that “the deficiencies have to do fundamentally with the inability of the Prosecutors to be able to investigate properly.” This occurs despite the fact that in Mexico there is a “institutional and legal scaffolding” which includes the criminalization of femicide, the creation of the General Laws of women’s access to a life free of violence, of the institutes and centers of justice for women, of the gender police and of the specialized Prosecutor’s Offices.

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No resources in investigations

“The problem is that all this is not being put into practice. In the Prosecutor’s Offices there continues to be a very serious problem of lack of resources so that they can adequately investigate violence against women. are resources very basic, such as cameras to take photographs of the evidence, warehouses to store the evidence or refrigeration chambers to protect, for example, the bodies of women. There are also personnel who do not know the legislation or all the protocols to carry out these investigations properly”, he specifies.

For this reason, he considers that the “feminist spring” of Mexico, which has more and more women who take to the streets to demand a life without violence, should aim to demand that the State allocate the necessary resources for the Prosecutors to carry out the research. Last Wednesday, feminist groups demonstrated in the capital against the increasing disappearances and femicides and declared national mourning for the violence experienced by women in Mexico.

In addition to the aggressors, this women’s movement in Mexico must also confront the “hostility” of the country’s president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obradorwhich maintains a “constant narrative denying the problem of violence against womenwith attacks on the feminist movement and with a weakening of public policies in the country”.

This narrative is maintained in the midst of cases such as that of Debanhi Escobar, after which the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) has demanded the Government of López Obrador combat violence against women in the country. Escobar, who disappeared when he was returning home from a party, was found lifeless 13 days later inside the tank of a hotel in Nuevo León. The autopsy of the 18-year-old has revealed that she was the victim of sexual abuse and went murderedruling out the hypothesis of a possible accident, a line of investigation that the Attorney General’s Office of the state of Nuevo León had followed.

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“We don’t live safe”

“In general terms, women in this country do not live safely. When there are emblematic cases like Debanhi’s, it is a reminder for the women of the risk in which we are for things as simple as using a transport service or going out at night, activities that are daily,” Olivares points out sadly.

In this context, Tames criticizes that, in the case of Escobar, there is “an answer that goes back to revictimize the victims, which is not focused on protecting the family and the victim herself.” “The modus operandi for dealing with cases of disappeared and murdered women seems to be the same as in the 1990s, when they talked about the murdered in Ciudad Juarez“, the Mint.

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“The violence against women It is a constant throughout the country. Women suffer violence for the simple fact of being women and the efforts of the authorities have not been sufficient to prevent it, prosecute it, punish it and offer comprehensive repairs in accordance with the standards established by international human rights law,” says the HRW women’s rights representative.

For eradicate this violence against the female gender, points out that it is “crucial” to invest in education school and community, so as not to reaffirm gender stereotypes. In this regard, Tamés states: “The culture must change to guarantee that violence against women is not something normalized and accepted, but rejected and unwanted”.


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