The victims of femicide deserve justice

Femicides start to multiply when authorities don't have the faculty to reclassify the crimes

The victims of femicide deserve justice
Femicide has been on the rise for at least two decades - Photo: Carlos Jasso/REUTERS
English 06/10/2019 09:44 Mexico City Editorial Actualizada 09:52
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In Mexico, after a woman is murdered, their families face a string of obstacles to be granted justice, for example, false reports, false information, delays, no developments in the investigations, indifference, discrediting the information provided by the victim's family, negligence while handling evidence, remains have to be exhumed and buried several times, murders that are labeled as suicides or accidents, as well as mockery and mistreatment by prosecutors.

After losing their loved one, these families have to face an ordeal at the hands of the institutions that were supposedly created to support them and find and punish criminals. This is why the victims are shocked when authorities obstruct justice, an attitude that the victims say is a violation of their human rights but also because the origin of impunity for those accused of femicide, who usually receive short sentences, granted amparos, and are even freed and exonerated because the cases were wrongfully put together.

In regards to the violent deaths of women, there are several characteristics that lead to labeling them as homicides or femicides. If the reason behind the crime is not related to gender, it is labeled as a homicide. On the other hand, the crime will be labeled as femicide when the victim is targeted for her gender. Even then, it is almost impossible to establish a detailed judgment since a lot of subjective aspects will come into play, which will make it hard to label the crime as femicide, moreover, the situation becomes even more complicated with the different criminal codes in every state, especially because in some of them femicide as a legal concept doesn't exist.

Femicides, which are disguised or mislabeled, start to multiply when authorities don't have the faculty to reclassify the crimes. This is why criminal codes have to be reviewed.
There are some states where families have pressed authorities, especially the victim's mother, and made it necessary to change the laws in places where gender perspective is not applied to the investigation of femicide. This is a pending and urgent issue.


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