Crime & Justice

Women protest ‘rape culture’ in Uruguay street march

Montevideo, Jan 28 (EFE).- Indignation, anger, fatigue and a lack of response brought women in Uruguay back on the streets on Friday to protest “against the culture of rape” following the gangrape of a 30-year-old woman in Montevideo last weekend.

Protests were held in all the departments (provinces) of the country, demanding an end to rapes, femicides and other sexual abuse that women suffer daily, while those who could not attend the marches banged pots from the balconies and blew the horns of their cars.

Union member and feminist Tamara García told EFE that the women were “terrified” and “outraged” following the rape on Jan. 16.

“We are overcome by (feelings of) helplessness and anger, because it is also something that could have happened to all of us at some point. We are focusing on the fact that this is not an isolated case, this is called a culture of rape and it happens to us every day in different situations and in different magnitudes,” she said.

A 30-year-old woman was gangraped by a teenage boy and at least three other men in the Uruguayan capital last weekend.

The victim said that, after meeting a man at a bar and going to his apartment on Sunday night, two other men entered his home and raped her.

Forensic analyses confirmed the rape but the three detainees refused to submit to a DNA test, so legal authorization had to be used and, finally, the tests were carried out.

A fourth man is also under investigation.

The incident sparked widespread outrage against this patriarchal culture and led thousands of women to connect over WhatsApp, video calls and meetings and convene the march through Montevideo’s main avenue, 18 de julio.

The demonstrators carried banners and chanted a common slogan and dozens of songs as they marched from the Plaza Independencia, where the seat of the government is located, to the Plaza Cagancha, where the proclamation was read.

The protesters said that the culture of rape maintains that men have uncontrollable “needs or impulses” and demanded that rape, femicide, transphobia and racism should be considered a “national emergency.”

They also questioned remarks made by Uruguayan President Luis Lacalle Pou, who, after the rape, said that these behaviors are not “human or male.”

The protesters argued that such remarks indicated a denial of the reality and hid “a very serious problem” of society.


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