Femicide is on the rise

The first signs of an alarming problem started in 1990, when hundreds of women were murdered in Ciudad Juárez

Femicide is on the rise
Femicide has increased in the last 30 years - Photo: Jose Luis Gonzalez/REUTERS
English 28/02/2019 09:33 Mexico City Editorial Actualizada 09:41
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Women often carry out protests and demonstrations throughout Mexico to demand protection but the insecurity situation hasn't changed, even when women are half of the population. Who listens to them? Who has proposed any strategy after women have been murdered in Nuevo León, Veracruz or Mexico City? Femicide is a national issue.

Today, EL UNIVERSAL reveals that in 2019, femicide numbers have increased. In January, 304 women were murdered, the highest number since 2015, when 150 homicides were registered; in 2016, there were 189 femicides; in 2017, there were 199, and in 2018, 279 women murdered. The number of femicides doubled in five years.

On average, 10 women are murdered every day last month, it surpassed the average registered in 2018: 7 femicides per day. The outlook isn't positive for 2019.

Nevertheless, the issue arose decades ago. The first signs of an alarming problem started in 1990 when hundreds of women were murdered in Ciudad Juárez. Almost 500 women were murdered, the homicides followed the same pattern: women between 15 and 30 years, low-income, their bodies were abandoned in the desert. The majority of the cases weren't punished.

Since then, the authorities have implemented actions that haven't shown results. In 2012, femicide was criminalized in the criminal code, understood as the murder of a woman because of her gender and which is punished with 40 to 60 years in jail.

The authorities also implemented the Gender Violence Alerts, an official mechanism to protect women and eradicate violence against women. Civil organizations request state governments to issue gender alerts, despite the government's opposition because they imply admitting that the problem has worsened as a result of inaction or incompetence

Last Sunday, this newspaper revealed that domestic violence has increased exponentially: in 2015, there were 126,000 murders registered and in 2018, authorities registered over 178,000 femicides. The first place where women suffer violence in the home. There are testimonies of women who have chosen to leave their homes because they fear being murdered by their partners.

Violence against women is the reflection of insecurity in Mexico, where the majority of police corporations lack the proper equipment and training, the investigation tasks are minimum and the crimes are unpunished. Nevertheless, prevention must start at home, that's where the seed of violence is planted.


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