Conflicts & War

Relatives of murdered Mexican women demand justice

By Ines Amarelo

Mexico City, Nov 3 (EFE).- Relatives of victims of femicide and unsolved disappearances commemorated their own “Day of the Dead” on Wednesday with a protest in Mexico City to demand justice for the thousands of women raped and murdered in Mexico.

“We want the authorities to really act, not to keep (the cases) in the dark … We’re seeking justice and truth for each of our dead,” Consuelo Martinez, the mother of Victoria Pamela, murdered in 2017 by her boyfriend, told EFE.

Carrying purple crosses, several hundred protesters marched along the emblematic Paseo de la Reforma avenue. Each one of them represented a specific case: a few of the crimes resulted in a sentence being handed down, others have seen the murderer arrested but the majority have remained unsolved.

“Each cross is a case of sadness. So, we’re seeking justice and truth,” added Martinez, who belongs to Voices of Absence, the organization that convened the march.

Voices of Absence declared Nov. 3 to be the “Day of the Dead” – following the culturally important and well-known Day of the Dead celebration in Mexico – to remember all of the women who are murdered or who disappear each day.

Mexico is facing a crisis of male violence with more than 10 women losing their lives violently each day, according to UN Women and civil organizations.

According to the latest official figures, a total of 762 murders of women classified as femicides were registered between January and September 2021.

In August alone there were 108 cases, the highest figure registered under the government of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, according to figures from the Security and Citizen Protection Secretariat (SSPC).

The feminist movement has been growing rapidly and mothers and other relatives of the victims have joined forces and created assorted organizations like Voices of Absence so that their demands will have more chance of being listened to by the authorities.

Cintia Ramirez, the aunt of Dulce Lilian, who was murdered in August 2019, said that the march was aimed at pressuring the government, the law enforcement authorities and all other officials to see that justice is done for all the women and girls who have been murdered.

Dulce Lilian’s murderer, her husband, is a fugitive and no progress has yet been made in tracking him down.

“The main demand is asking the government to listen to us, to arrest people who are fugitives and to carry out justice. They’ve not going to return our (loved ones) to us but at least they will give us a little peace and tranquility,” Ramirez told EFE.

During the march, which transpired without any incidents, there were moments of emotion among the mothers, some of who embraced one another and sobbed.

For them, unity is very important and staying together in the struggle is an incentive not to give up.

“We support each other. We’re here for the same fight: our murdered daughters. … I tell the mothers of the victims of femicide that they’re (not) alone in seeking help,” said Nayeli Aquino, the mother of Naela Daniela, also murdered in August 2019 and on whose case no progress has been made.

The relatives also said they were grateful for the efforts of Frida Guerrera, the activist who founded the organization and the person who, they said, gives them strength to continue with their struggle when they feel that they cannot go on.

Also participating in the march were a number of children who were orphaned when their mothers were killed. They, too, have lost much, they said during the event.

The relatives carried crosses and signs with the photos of the murdered or missing women from Mexico City’s huge central square – the Zocalo – to the Monument to Mothers, where on Wednesday an “anti-monument” was erected by the activists to remember the victims of gender violence.

EFE ia/mqb/rrt/bp

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