If sexist violence had to be reduced to a handful of figures, as successive governments in Mexico have done, 3,952 women have been murdered in the country in just one year. If this figure could be measured – and the figure of 10 murdered per day was not enough to alert the authorities to take action on the matter – in three years of the Andrés Manuel López Obrador Administration, a sufficient number of women have been killed to fill the National Auditorium to the flag, more than 11,000. The president has had to acknowledge during his third government report that femicide has been one of the few crimes, according to his data, which has increased by 13% during his term. While violence in the country fluctuates with a hundred homicides more or less every year, they are being killed more and more. If the trend continues and no one stops it, soon the death toll will fill the enormous plateau of the Zócalo in the capital.
In March of this year, a group of women activists projected on the symbol of the Executive, the National Palace, a strong message: Femicide Mexico. And thus they broke the wall erected by the Government itself to protect the institution from the collective catharsis of women who would knock on its doors a day later, on March 8. Feminists and the groups that represent many of them – more than 60% have acknowledged suffering sexist violence at some point in their lives – and many mothers who seek justice for their murdered daughters, have been branded as opponents and as a obstacle to the president’s nation project. From the corridors of the Palace, it has not been understood three years later that gender violence is a burden that has crossed all governments of any political sign. Well, since there are figures, in 1990, the data on homicides against them have not stopped growing: from 1,519 in that year, to almost 4,000 in 2020, the last one with data available from the National Institute of Statistics (INE).
The president has briefly argued that perhaps that 13% more is due to the fact that before that crime was not classified, ignoring the fact that the INE has been registering for three decades homicides against women, without the need for them to be classified as femicide, since that definition is from 2012, and depends on the Penal Code of each State. In some entities, femicide appears registered as an autonomous figure and in others, as an aggravating factor to homicide, although it is recognized in the Federal Criminal Code.
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In addition to the death figures, it is necessary to add that impunity represents another great challenge for your Government. The latest survey of Victimization and Perception of Security of the INE It warned that in 2019 in 92.4% of the cases of victims an investigation folder was not opened, nor was a culprit even sought. This despite the fact that in 30% of the households one of its members was the victim of some type of injury.
Femicide has been one of the few crimes, according to the president, that have increased during his government. The other two are extortion (24%), which is one of the most reliable indicators of the presence of organized crime according to experts; and another, individual theft in public transport (14% more). And he has boasted a 0.05% decrease in homicides. But above all he has pointed out: “An upward trend in this crime was stopped.”
This last piece of information can be confusing. Generalized violence, not only against women, has reached levels never recorded at other times in Mexico’s history. This decrease, taking into account that around 100 people a day are murdered in the country, can be seen as a minuscule decrease in the face of a bloody outlook. Can Mexico live with a homicide rate per inhabitant that in some places, such as Guanajuato or Baja California, exceeds those of Central America?
The president, who has boasted the achievements of his three years in office in the third report presented this Wednesday, has recognized one of the great pending tasks: the women of this country. The absence of decisive public policies to curb the feminicidal trend has provoked harsh criticism from feminist groups and until now the symbolic and real walls erected between the National Palace and them have only accelerated the anger and indignation. He still has three more years to amend what the authorities have relegated to the background. And thus avoid what has happened for three decades: that each year is a reminder of the absence of justice for half the population.
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