Orphans, the collateral victims of femicide

At least 10 women are murdered every day in Mexico. The tragedy is not limited to the victims for their children face an uncertain psychological future

Orphans, the collateral victims of femicide
Pink crosses bearing the names of female victims are seen with candles during a rally against gender violence in Mexico – Photo: Daniel Becerril/REUTERS
English 21/09/2019 13:12 Rebeca Jiménez Jacinto Mexico City Actualizada 13:19
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There are 270 orphans in the State of Mexico who share a common destiny: They will grow up alone because their mothers were brutally murdered.

At best, these children will now be cared for by their grandparents, a growing phenomenon that makes them the children of femicide.

State of Mexico’s Justice and Human Rights Ministry has a list of 270 minors left as orphans by this crime, informed director Rodrigo Espeleta Aladro, in a census with data collected during the current administration that started on September 2017.
 

Most victims were murdered when they were just in the second decade of their lives when their children were still babies.

From 2017 to July 31, 2019, 232 femicides have been registered in the State of Mexico, which represents 12% of the national statistic, said local congresswoman Karina Labastida, with information of the Executive Secretariat of the National Public Security System (SESNSP).

A national emergency. The children of femicide victims represent a national tragedy, asserted Ph. D. in Psychology Patricia Valladares, coordinator of the Interdisciplinary Program for the Attention of Gender Violence (PIAV) of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).
 

A tragedy that increases if the father kills the mother and the children know it or, even worse, if they witnessed the crime, for minors are left with no family, said the expert.

The country will live an emergency with this “children of femicide,” she says. “How will they behave in the future? As a society, it is terrible, so it is urgent to take action to attend these kids and teenagers.”

Currently, in a femicide in which the victims have children, “if there is not a close relative, the kids are sent to the Integral Family Development (DIF), where there is no follow-up program of what is going to happen to children of femicide and that will eventually explode,” warned the coordinator of PIAV.
 

“These children are revictimized, they live a terrible psychological tragedy; they are as war children, but this war is against women,” she expressed.

“What happens to a young kid when they kill his mother? They deprive him of all the security she could give him, and then, if the murderer is his dad, the kind of hate, of resentment, he can reproduce the patrons of the abuser and homicide, or become a sort of avenger,” explained the expert.

Scholarships for victims' children. Rodrigo Espeleta Aladro explained that under the terms of the Victims Act and its regulation, there are some rules for relatives of murdered women to have access to government support in the State of Mexico, scholarships, for instance.

The Victims Executive Commission of the State of Mexico grants monthly MXN $1,000 scholarships to 248 girls, boys, and adolescents who are children of victims of femicide, first-degree murder, and disappearance.
 

Espeleta Aladro asserted that in the State of Mexico “there are several supports from groceries to scholarships, psychological and medical attention, but we want to go beyond; the governor has ordered us to expand our capacities and resources to have a more comprehensive care program for the children of victims of disappearance and femicide.”
 

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