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Public outcry

This year has been marked by the death of women who've lost their lives because of their gender
Protest against femicides - File photo/EL UNIVERSAL
18/09/2017
09:00
Mexico City
Newspaper Leader by EL UNIVERSAL
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This year has been marked by femicides, by the death of those women who've lost their lives because of their gender, because they found themselves in a situation where their opponent was stronger and more dominating.

The most recent case is Mara Fernanda Castilla, 19, Political Sciences student at the Popular Autonomous University of the State of Puebla. She disappeared on the early morning of September 8, after hanging out with friends at a bar and getting a cab provided by a company offering the service on demand through a mobile app. Days later, her body was found wrapped in a sheet at the side of a road.

This event has caused a public outcry and condemnation. With just reason, this Sunday thousands of women marched the streets of the main cities in Mexico demanding protection and justice. It's not the first time similar protests have taken place. There have been at least a couple others in the last months, yet the number of femicides doesn't seem to decrease –several authorities are failing to do enough to solve the problem.

Raising a gender alert seems to cause fear in the Government, and they seem opposed to triggering it while this situation continues. This human rights protection mechanism, considered the “only in the world”, aims to launch safety and justice prevention measures to face and end violence against women, based on an interinstitutional and multidisciplinary group.

Gender violence is a reality we cannot hide from, and authorities should be the first ones interested in containing and eradicating this problem without waiting for the outcry of social networks to begin to address it.

In the specific case of Mara, there is another important factor at play: the company offering the service. The alleged killer is the taxi driver, reason why the company, in the first place, should toughen its enrollment standards and authorities should investigate it and similar companies. Criminals cannot use technology to attempt against the citizens.

Yet, without a doubt, the main reason why femicides don't dwindle is due to the high impunity rate which prevails in the country. Knowing the probability of being condemned for a crime is 10% or less, is certainly encouraging criminals.

Gender violence is a widespread social issue, and as a society, we all need to cooperate to tackle it effectively.

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