By Pratiksha Kaur
Volume 1 Issue 7
April 22, 2021
Image provided by the BBC
Femicide encompasses the intentional murder of women based on their gender. The rates of femicide around the world have seen an increase; however, in Mexico due to the lax enforcement of laws, gender killings have gone out of control. Even though in Mexico about seven women suffer death every day due to gender-related killings, President Obrador’s government has not taken direct action towards combating the situation. The lack of governmental action has caused Mexican women to take to the streets and fight for their human rights.
2016-2017 “Femincido en México. ¡Ya basta!” (Femicide in Mexico. Enough is enough!)
Mexico saw the rising of gender-related killings as seven women lost their lives daily due to the lax implementation of comprehensive laws. Prevailing impurities such as corruption create an obstacle for many women who seek justice such as Irinea Buendía for her daughter, Mariana Lima. Mariana Lima’s husband, a police officer, abused and emotionally tortured Mariana before killing her on June 28, 2010. Irinea fought to bring her daughter justice; ultimately winning after six years. Mariana’s case, similar to that of many women in Mexico and other areas of Latin America, illuminates the impurities within the justice system and lack of implementation of gender-related policies. Although Mariana’s case did not receive worldwide recognition, it remains a historic order passed by the Mexico’s Supreme Court. After this decision, many Mexicans believed that the rate of these types of killings would decrease; however, they did not.
2018-2019 “¡Ni una Más!” (not one more!)
With the precedent created by Mariana Lima’s case, many Mexicans believed that the numbers of gender-related killings would slowly trickle down; however, by 2018 Mexico saw an increase of 288 cases per year (2018: 893, 2016: 605). In 2019, the country also saw an increase in women’s frustration with the justice system’s incoherent manner when approaching the situation, as only 726 cases were investigated; however, 3,142 women were murdered in gender-related killings. Due to the rise in frustration, women took to the streets to demand President Obrador pass new legislation that would protect women from these killings, but nothing was done. President Obrador’s lack of direct action only angered Mexican women further.
2020-2021 “Not one more, not one less, we want them all alive”
“Not one more! Not one less! We want them all alive!” chant the Mexican female protestors against the increasing number of femicides during International Women’s Day in 2020. Although femicides made up 10 percent of all murders in 2019, the rate has grown exponentially by 145 percent over the last few years, with 2020 accumulating the most deaths. In Mexico, 10 women experience suffocation, strangulation, drowning, and stabbing daily, ultimately leading to their deaths. With the worsening situation and lack of government response, Mexican females have taken matters into their own hands. They took to the streets to march against the daily civil rights violations to put pressure on the Mexican government to take some action against femicide. In 2021, with the ever-growing number of femicides and the lack of government support, females have taken up another measure of protest. Continuing with their marches, Mexican female protestors have written down the names of 939 victims on the colonial era building that serves as the presidential office and residence. That wall represents the lost lives of 939 females to intentional murder but also represents the failure of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador to acknowledge and act against these civil rights violations. President Obrador responded by creating a barrier against the female protestors and the walls of the colonial era building as a means of protecting the building from vandalism. These actions of the President angered many female protestors because President Obrador failed to provide adequate protection to Mexican females; however, willingly protected a building from protestors. Due to the backlash on media platforms, the Mexican President stated that he is “not a male chauvinist. [He’s] in favor of the rights of women.” Evident from the lack of governmental support, Mexican females understand that the road for protection contains numerous obstacles and challenges; however, they willingly accept the challenge as a way of protecting their mothers, daughters, sisters, friends, and neighbors.