Teresa, Araceli, Leonora, Cecilia, Lizbeth … more than 10 women are murdered every day in Mexico. The names of some of them have been written on a wall erected around the National Palace where President Andrés Manuel López Obrador resides.
It is not an initiative of the Government that installed the wall with a view to the Women’s Day march to “protect cultural heritage”, but rather of the families of the victims in response to the State’s inaction against the impunity of the femicides.
Naming these women is essential, explains Perla Blas, a Mexican investigative journalist: “it is important to name them, because they all had a story, they all had a life, a family, which was strongly affected by this event.”
A database so as not to forget 150 girls
Blas is part of a group of female journalists who have built a database to track the number of girls and adolescents murdered, a work with which they address the lack of public policies in Mexico to prevent and eradicate femicides.
“We started to see in the database that there was the category of name and we saw a girl without a name, a girl without a name, a girl without a name … Then we said no! They all have a name and we are going to trace what that girl was called” .
The Mexican journalist recounts how they decided to do a second, a third and even a fifth search to find the name of each girl. And then they discovered their stories.
Elsy Michelle was 12 years old, she was starting high school.
Laura Angélica, who was seventeen years old and lived in Aguascalientes, was finishing high school and wanted to study at the University.
Sixteen-year-old Victoria, who lived in Cuitláhuac, Veracruz, wanted to continue studying and end the toxic relationship in which she was living.
Aleksandra, who was 15 years old and lived in the State of Mexico, was very excited because she was going to start working and wanted to continue studying.
Giselle, 11, from Chimalhuacán, was in sixth grade and liked to play soccer.
“Absolutely all had a story,” adds Blas, after presenting the stories of these victims.
A total of 150 lives of minors were violently truncated across the country between December 2018 and 2020, according to their work data.
State and social indifference
When asked why the number of femicides is increasing, Blas responds that it is a combination of factors that coincide on the same point: both a society and a State arbitrarily look the other way.
And he recounts the story of Victoria’s murder as an example of this state and social indifference:
“Her ex-partner murdered her outside the bakery where she worked and killed her with several stab wounds. In the morning, in the light of day and in the sight of many people who did not help her.”
The management of violence against women by López Obrador was the target of the protesters’ outcry on March 8, who denounced that he was hiding behind a wall while the security forces repressed the protests with a heavy hand.
“If the wall was not put up, many people would have been put at risk,” López Obrador justified the presence of metal fences on Women’s Day. “It was evident that they wanted to vandalize the National Palace.”
“I cannot tell you with certainty what is going through the president’s mind,” says Blas, but he believes that the president’s changing and abstract discourse in relation to the violence that endangers the country’s women “speaks of a conservative attitude and macho on his part, although he does not want to admit it. “
Check Perla Blas’s research on the website Here we are, child femicide in Mexico.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.