Latin America is plagued by infant femicide

31/03/2019
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16:23
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Latin America is plagued by infant femicide
Infant femicide has become a recurrent crime in Latin America – Photo: Jorge Alberto Mendoza/EL UNIVERSAL

Latin America is plagued by infant femicide

31/03/2019
16:23
Mexico City
Daniela Guazo y Montserrat Peralta
-A +A
The alleged murderers were mainly fathers, step-fathers, uncles, boyfriends, ex-boyfriends, brothers, cousins, other family members, neighbors, friends, people they knew, and strangers

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After the increasing femicides rates in Latin America, seven newspapers, including EL UNIVERSAL, investigated this perverse phenomenon for five months, with a special focus on girls: girls and teenagers between 0 and 17 years who were murdered in parks, on the street, public transport, or at home.

In the last six years, from 2013 to 2018, at least 614 infant femicides were perpetrated in seven Latin American countries. Their “mistake” was to be women. El Salvador, Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Costa Rica, Mexico, and Colombia are the scenario for this terrible crime. All of these countries share the same mistakes: the lack of clear and updated numbers, economic inequality, and impunity which extends beyond the deadly misogyny that prevails in all these countries.

El Salvador occupies the first place: 157 girls and teenagers murdered from 2013 to 2018; Argentina is in second place with 140 femicides. Meanwhile, Mexico is in third place: 89 femicides.

For example, in Mexico, in places like Aguascalientes where femicide was typified in 2017, they only have one open investigation for femicide; all the murders of women that were perpetrated before 2017 should be cataloged as femicides are lost and typified as other crimes.

The dimension of the problem is overwhelming, especially when you analyze each case. Emanuelly Agatha da Silva was five years old when she was murdered by her parents in March 2018 in Brazil. In Costa Rica, Orlando Quirós Torres was sentenced to 35 years in jail for beating his 4-month old baby. In Argentina, María Laura Cabrera, 14, was murdered by her boyfriend.

Mexico is not far from all this brutality. On October 23, 2017, the body of a 2-year-old was found in Mexicali, Baja California. She died of head trauma, that is, someone hit her head with such force that her brain was damaged.

In the majority of the cases reported in the region, the bodies were found inside the home, but they were also found in sites frequented by little girls: school, the park, clinics, the streets, the store, and public transport.

The alleged murderers were mainly fathers, step-fathers, uncles, boyfriends, ex-boyfriends, brothers, cousins, other family members, neighbors, friends, people they knew, and strangers. Anyone.

Also, these numbers are framed by a legal void that leaves an endless number of cases in limbo. Between 2013 and 2017, at least 2,113 infant femicides were perpetrated in three of these 7 countries but the majority of them were typified as femicides. In the other 4 countries, it wasn't possible to access reliable sources.

From the 89 femicides that were perpetrated in Mexico, in 43 cases information was provided and in 8 it was claimed that the criminal had been sentenced. The rest are “still in process.”

This investigation shows that girls in Latin America leave with fear. They fear being attacked on the streets, the school, or at a hospital. While femicide plagues the region, the resources to implement an effective strategy and new public policies haven't been applied and hundreds of girls are being murdered in Latin America.

Artículo

No justice for infant femicide in Mexico

In late 2018 and early 2019, an outbreak of deaths and attacks against girls has taken over the State of Mexico
No justice for infant femicide in Mexico No justice for infant femicide in Mexico

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