24 | MAR | 2019
Mexico City fights femicide with technology
Femicide in Mexico has increased in the last decades - Photo: Manu Fernandez/AP

Mexico City fights femicide with technology

24/01/2019
14:32
Bogotá
Anastasia Moloney, Andrea Ahedo
-A +A
A 2018 poll by the Thomson Reuters Foundation ranked Mexico City's metro as the most dangerous transport system for women

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Victims of domestic abuse in Mexico City will be given panic alarms as part of government efforts to fight the increasing violence against women rates in a country where, on average, over seven women are murdered by men every day.

Authorities aim to hand out key rings with a global positioning system (GPS) tracking device and panic alarm buttons to 128 women, mostly aged 30 to 40, who have suffered domestic abuse, including those living with their aggressor, in a first-of-its-kind initiative in the capital.

According to the United Nations, Mexico has one of the highest femicide rates in the world.

Victims of femicide often have a long history of domestic violence, and perpetrators are often current or former partners, with many murders taking place in or near their homes.

The local government hopes the use of panic buttons will help prevent femicides by allowing women to quickly alert the police and help them track down and respond to attacks.

“They are victims, mainly of domestic violence, at the hands of their partner,” Nelly Montealegre, an assistant prosecutor at Mexico City Attorney General’s Office, told local media on Monday.

“In these cases, the aggressors control what they do, their mobile phones ... they follow them, spy on them, call them constantly and leave threatening messages,” Montealegre said.

Some of the women have previously been threatened by their partners, using guns and knives, she said.

Last year, 760 women were the victims of femicide across Mexico, up from 407 in 2015, and over three women were murdered in Mexico City every day, government figures show.

From January 2012 to September 2017, there were 292 femicide cases registered in Mexico City and 421 intentional homicides against women, according to official information.

The local Attorney General’s Office explained that 44.2% of the victims were between 18 and 30 years old, 40.1% were between 31 and 60 years old, and 8.6% were under 18, 6.2% were over 60.

Violence is driven by Mexico’s “macho” culture, which blames women for the violence inflicted on them and condones it, along with low conviction rates for gender crimes, experts say.

A 2018 poll by the Thomson Reuters Foundation ranked Mexico City's metro as the most dangerous transport system for women out of five cities surveyed.

It revealed that about three in every four women in Mexico City were not confident about using the transport system because they fear sexual harassment, abuse, or sexual violence.

Mexico City’s first elected female mayor, Claudia Sheinbaum, who took office last month, has said that eradicating gender violence is a top priority.

Sheinbaum has pledged to increase the number of prosecutors handling femicide and domestic violence cases to get more convictions for such crimes and make it easier for women to report violence against them.

Panic buttons connected to the police are being used by women in other countries, including Brazil, the UK, and Canada.

Artículo

9 women are murdered in Mexico everyday

Violence against women and girls is one of the most serious, prevailing, ingrained, and tolerated human rights violations in the world
9 women are murdered in Mexico everyday9 women are murdered in Mexico everyday

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