Fierce

A New Shocking Report Reveals That 10 Women and Girls Are Murdered Everyday In Mexico

via Getty Images

We all know that Latin America has a femicide problem. Over the years, thousands of women across Latinidad have been murdered–often from intimate partners–and their families are left only with their grief and no answers. And the country with one of the worst femicide rates is Mexico.

A recent report entitled “Justice On Trial” conducted by the nonprofit Amnesty International, found that 10 women and girls are murdered every day in Mexico.

(Photo by CLAUDIO CRUZ/AFP via Getty Images)

The damning report not only condemned the chilling femicide numbers in Mexico, but also both the government and authorities’ apathy towards what is widely seen as an epidemic.

“Mexico is continuing to fail to fulfill its duty to investigate and, therefore, its duty to guarantee the rights to life and personal integrity of the victims as well as to prevent violence against women,” said the report.

According to The New York Times, femicide is defined as “the crime of killing women or girls because of their gender.”

While the murder of women and girls is not always a gendered crime, it is often a factor behind the murder of women in the machismo-heavy culture of Mexico.

Femicide is a problem that has been gripping Mexico for decades. According to the Mexico office of U.N. Women, seven women were killed per day in Mexico in 2017. The Mexican government reported 1,006 femicides in 2019–which was a 10% increase from the previous year.

But it is only recently that Mexican women have loudly and publicly expressed their anger at both the phenomenon and their government’s indifference to addressing it.

This year, the International Women’s Day March in Mexico City turned violent as protestors clashed with police.

Women marched in the streets armed with hammers and blowtorches to protect themselves from possible confrontations. They pulled at a fence surrounding a government building, which had been erected to keep them out. They vandalized public spaces with the names of missing and murdered women. At least 81 people were injured.

Mexican feminists are not only angry because of the phenomenon of femicide itself, but because of the government’s total inaction. According to Mexico’s National Institute of Statistics and Geography, 93% of femicides were either not reported or not investigated in 2018. In a chilling testimony, a family member of one victim said that the police officer assigned to investigate her mother’s murder was “falling asleep” during the interview process.

Feminist activists in Mexico say that lawmakers aren’t addressing femicide because they are both afraid of highlighting the problems in their state and worry about how much it would cost to address the problem.

Even President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who billed himself as a populist candidate ready to champion the rights of women, has minimized the extent of the femicide epidemic.

In response to the rising number of femicides in his country, Obrador said: “Tell all the women of Mexico that they are protected and represented, that we’re doing everything possible to guarantee peace and quiet and that I understand that our adversaries are looking for ways to confront us.”

“They refuse to recognize there is a problem,” said feminist activist Maricruz Ocampo to The Guardian.

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