Women in Mexico Unite to Speak Out Against Gender-Based Violence
Femicide and violence against women continues to plague Mexico and other Latin American countries. Women in Mexico are fighting back, using their voices to protest and stand up against injustice. In this photo, hundreds of women took to the streets in Mexico City last year as part of the international day against violence against women.
Ilia Calderón, the co-anchor of Noticiero Univision, traveled to Mexico and El Salvador to investigate stories of brutal violence against Latinas. “This is a very serious problem in all of Latin America,” Calderón told People CHICA. “The statistics are alarming,” she added, mentioning Mexico, where over 3,600 women were killed last year, as just one example. “These are just cases that are known. There are also thousands of women who have disappeared.”
JUSTICE FOR ELENA
Musicians and women's organizations protested on December 16 in Mexico City to demand the arrest of former deputy Juan Antonio Vera Carrizal as the intellectual author of an acid attack against his ex, Oaxacan saxophonist Maria Elena Ríos Ortíz.
HER MUSIC PLAYS ON
As part of the protest demanding justice for Ríos Ortíz, musicians played her favorite instrument as a tribute to her.
BLIND NO MORE
On December 2, a group of students protest against femicide and violence against women at Ibero University in Mexico City.
Many women in Mexico are reported missing and are never found. The sister of Serymar Soto, a Mexican woman killed by her fiancé before their wedding, created a Facebook page titled “Los Machos Nos Matan en México” [Machos Kill Us In Mexico], where people post photos and stories of women whose murders have been left unsolved.
NO MORE VIOLENCE
According to the United Nations, one out of every three women in Latin America has experienced sexual or physical violence, The New York Times reports. However, 98 percent of gender-related killings are not prosecuted.
THE FACES OF FEMICIDE
Women hold a banner with an image of a victim of femicide during a demonstration to mark International Women's Day in Mexico City on March 8.
Hundreds of demonstrators protest against femicide and violence as part of International Day for the Elimination of Violence in Mexico City on November 29. The hashtag #NiUnaMenos [Not One Less] is also used in social media posts against femicide.
Belén Sanz, the Mexico representative for UN Women, told The New York Times that organized crime is also a factor in many femicide cases, revealing there has been an increase in sex trafficking and women disappearing connected to gangs.
A CALL FOR CHANGE
Not all countries classify the murder of women as femicides, making it an aggravated homicide due to gender and adding additional jail time to the sentences of the perpetrators. Latin American countries like Mexico, El Salvador and Colombia do recognize femicides, while the United States does not, Univision anchor Ilia Calderón says. Men often make their victims feel guilty by abusing them psychologically and pummeling their self-esteem. “This can end in them killing them or sending them to the hospital from a beating,” she says. “It's a cycle that is hard to break, unfortunately. It all starts with education from an early age. It's not just about empowering girls — it's about teaching boys to value women.”