Conflicts & War

Mexico protests demand justice, answers for violence, missing women

Mexico City/Juarez City/Oaxaca, Mar 7 (efe-epa).- Women across Mexico on Sunday carried out a large marches and protests to demand justice for gender-based violence and answers on the whereabouts of missing women.

A march in Juárez City began in Puerta de Juárez with vehicles painted covered phrases such as “March 8 is not to celebrate, it is to fight” and “Being a woman should not be a danger” among the messages.

Juárez is known internationally for its high number of femicides. In 2020, 185 intentional homicides against women were registered and 28 of these took place in January of this year alone. In addition, there are 166 women missing from the city, cases that have accumulated in the span of 10 years.

Among the protesters was Yadira Cortés, a member of the Women’s Roundtable Network, who told Efe that they “demand preventive actions and public policies that contribute to the non-existence of this crime – not one more.”

Mothers of the disappeared buried pink wooden crosses, representing the demand for answers on their cases.

“We have nothing to celebrate,” Norma Laguna, mother of Idaly Juache, a young woman who disappeared on Feb. 23, 2010, told Efe.

“It is a lie when they say that time helps to heal. For us it seems like yesterday our daughter disappeared. We do not know why there is so much hatred towards women. I have other daughters and when they go out I am afraid that they will be taken,” she added.

Perla Reyes, mother of Joselyn Calderón Reyes, who disappeared on Dec. 30, 2012, said she has not had a satisfactory answer regarding the whereabouts of her daughter.

“I have always said I want facts, not words, and since she left, I am dead in life. We invite you to join us to demand justice,” she said.

“For us it’s sad, it is regrettable that just for being a woman, a lot of young women have lost their lives, young women have gone missing merely for being women.”

The second meeting point was outside the North Zone Attorney General’s Office where protesters buried three wooden crosses, demanding results from the government.

Elia Orrante, director of the organization Without Violence, recalled that there is a historical debt with women.

“In several cases when a woman reappears, there is no investigation into the violence she suffered during the period of her absence,” she said.

She explained that the organization she directs “tends to, on average, between 200 and 300 women and girls on a weekly basis who are victims of violence, whether physical or psychological.”

In addition, she said that of the women they work with, on average only 30 percent report their situation to the authorities.

Bertha Alicia, mother of Brenda Berenice Castillo, who disappeared on Jan. 6, 2009, said she had been given some bones and told that they are her daughter’s.

“I am not satisfied with what the authorities have given me. For me there is no Christmas, there is no Mother’s Day. I am dead in life waiting for my daughter,” she said.

The last meeting point was a well-known cotton field where the remains of several women were found more than a decade ago.

Protesters listened to the closing speech of Imelda Marrufo, director of the Women’s Roundtable Network.

In 2020, the city registered 477 cases of rape and 11,293 investigation folders for violence against women were opened, she said.

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