Crime & Justice

Violence, abuse of women and girls and femicide persist in Latin America

America Desk, Nov 24 (EFE).- Latin America is one of the regions with the highest number of cases of violence against women and girls, a situation that is aggravated by persistent inequality, poverty, fear of reporting and the lack of policies to curb this scourge.

According to the Observatory for Gender Equality in Latin America and the Caribbean (OIG) of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), at least one femicide was reported every two hours in 2022 and 2023. According to UN Women, a femicide is an intentional killing with a gender-related motivation

On the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, commemorated every November 25, the United Nations and organizations defending the rights of women and girls reiterated their call for States to increase their efforts and budgets to develop policies to prevent these acts of violence.

Also to provide timely legal and health responses to victims, which are some of the main reasons why many women and girls do not come forward for fear of being re-victimized or threatened by their attackers.

Figures are not on the decline

According to the Brazilian Forum for Public Security, femicides increased by 2.6% in 2023, with 776 cases reported as gender-related deaths, while in the first half of the year, a woman or girl was raped every 8 minutes.

Of all recorded rapes, 61.4% of the victims were aged between 0 and 13 years, and 8 out of 10 were under the age of 18. Most victims (88.7%) were female and 56.8% were Black.

According to official figures, many cases are not reported for fear of reprisals, and only 8.5% of rapes are reported to the police and 4.2% through information systems in hospitals and health centers.

The Forum also found that the additional murders of at least 1,902 women were registered as homicides.

Mexico reached 25N with 2,594 women murdered between January and September 2023, an average of 9.5 per day, and a notable level of distrust in justice.

According to the National Survey of Victimization and Perception of Public Security 2023, three out of ten women victims of crime do not report it because it would be “a waste of time.”

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador claimed in March that femicides have decreased since he took office in 2018.

However, UN Women’s representative in Mexico, Belén Sanz Luque, told EFE that there has been no “substantial decrease” in male violence in the country in the last six years.

The 2021 National Survey on the Dynamics of Household Relationships found that 70.1% of Mexican women over the age of 15 have experienced at least one situation of violence, a figure that has generally remained the same over the years.

So far this year, Bolivia has recorded 74 femicides, 27,130 cases of domestic violence, 2,140 cases of rape, 2,105 cases of violence against children, and 2,954 cases of sexual abuse.

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) ruled this year that the State of Bolivia was responsible for the violation of the rights to personal integrity, judicial guarantees and revictimization against Brisa de Angulo, who was raped by a family member 21 years ago.

In Panama in the first 10 months of the year there have been 12 femicides and violent deaths of women increased to 23.

Experts consulted by EFE denounced the “naturalization” of violence against women and that it is being carried out with increasing viciousness. They mentioned the case of a mother burned alive in front of her daughters by her ex-partner and another of a woman murdered with 40 stab wounds in the chest.

Activists are pushing for a national debate on the criminalization of femicide.

In Venezuela, according to unofficial figures, femicides have decreased compared to 2022, when the year ended with 236 women murdered by men who were part of their closest circles.

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