Chiapas: Femicides on the rise: six victims in fewer than 10 days

Mural en Tuxtla Gutiérrez conmemorativo de las víctimas de feminicidio en Chiapas. Foto: @Chiapas Paralelo

Commemorative mural for the victims of femicide in Tuxtla Gutiérrez. Photo: @Chiapas Paralelo

The increase in the number of cases of femicide has been called “one of the gravest problems in Chiapas,” according to the sociologist María del Rosario Alarcón. In fewer than 10 days, six women were killed: three of them were sexually assaulted, one was a minor, another was pregnant, and some of the corpses that were found showed serious signs of violence. These femicides were perpetrated in Chiapa de Corzo, Pujiltic (Venustiano Carranza municipality), and in the state capital, Tuxtla Gutiérrez.

On repeated occasions, the negligence of the State has been denounced in terms of applying justice in the cases of femicide. According to Contralínea, clear examples are seen in the covering-up of the cases of femicides, toward the end of maintaining a good political image; the impunity resulting from lack of investigation in the cases such as femicides, though nearly all the states include this crime in their penal codes; or the discriminatory prejudice and lack of efforts made by the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR) and the judiciary toward the end of applying the highest international standards in terms of human rights, where the majority of the statistics that are published originate from data provided by the monitoring of press carried out by the Group of Women from San Cristóbal. According to this group, “femicidal violence has increased in the past three years. During this period there have been registered 249 cases.” According to the same source, in Chiapas femicide is principally perpetrated by those close to the victims, in the majority of cases relatives with whom the women had had affective relations.

As a response, the Popular Campaign against Violence against Women and Femicide in Chiapas, presented on 25 November 2013—in observance of the International Day against Violence against Women—a request for the declaration of a Gender Violence Alert (AVG). This would be a mechanism that provides the National System to Prevent, Attend to, Sanction, and Eradicate Violence against Women, to “guarantee the security of women, the cessation of violence against them, and the elimination of inequalities produced by the legislation that worsens their human rights.” The AVG has been denied by the Chiapas state government, which has not even investigated the possibility, using the argument that in this entity, “femicide does not affect the social peace.”

The AVG mechanism has been a polemical issue. Following 13 requests denied in 10 states, the Alert was declared for the first time this year in July in 11 municipalities of Mexico state. Criticism from those like Alicia Elena Pérez Duarte, former federal special prosecutor for attending to violence against women, notes that the AVG “does nothing,” since it has failed to break with the “patriarchal agreement” whereby violence continues against women. According to the specialist, there are vastly different perceptions regarding the advances from the points of view of feminists and the legal system, for State officials “do not understand what femicide is.” Beyond this, she added that the mechanism is not functioning, but rather that it is only wasting money, the energy of organizations, and time, so that “nothing at the end changes.”

For more information (in Spanish):

En Chiapas feminicidios a la alza, en 10 días seis asesinadas; una menor de edad y otra con embarazo de 2 meses (Revolución Tres Punto Cero, 19 de octubre de 2015)

Dos feminicidios en Pujiltic en menos de una semana (Chiapas Paralelo, 15 de octubre de 2015)

Impune, feminicidio en México (Contralínea, 10 de febrero de 2015)

El feminicidio es un crimen de Estado porque no se garantiza seguridad y se obstaculiza la justicia: académica (Revolución Tres Punto Cero, 23 de octubre de 2015)

AVG ha sido incapaz de acabar el “pacto patriarcal” de violencia (Cimac Noticias, 23 de octubre de 2015)

Por 1a vez, Segob declara alerta de género: lo hace para 11 municipios del Edomex (Animal Político, 29 de julio de 2015)

Para Chong y Velasco el aumento de 400% en feminicidios “no altera la paz social de Chiapas” (Revolución Tres Punto Cero, 17 de enero de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: march to demand investigation of new femicide (29 September 2014)

Chiapas: Impunity in the case of Tatiana Trujillo (16 September 2014)

Chiapas: State complicity in femicide is denounced (2 May 2014)

Chiapas: Commemoration of the murder of Itzel Janet Méndez-Pérez and other victims of femicide (26 April 2014)

Chiapas: Amidst increase in femicide and impunity, civil organization proclaims permanent Gender Alert (30 March 2014)

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