Chiapas: “Violence against Women if the Context of a Pandemic” Report Published

On November 25th, within the framework of International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, an online conference was held, organized by the Chiapas Women’s Rights Center (CDMCH), the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (Frayba), Melel Xojobal, the feminist school Code F, the Women Transforming the World group (MUTRAMA AC), and the Ixim Antsetic Women’s Center, to present the report “Violence against Women in the Context of a Pandemic ”. 

The report puts together a series of statistics about violence against women, from March 21st to now, which amount to an “increase in family violence, sexual violence, cyber violence and, clearly, femicides.” 

Nationwide in April, the number of murders of women went from nine to 11 per day, “an overwhelming increase.” 

In Chiapas in January, February and March there were two murders per month and 100 crimes for family violence per week. “40% of the femicides were partners of the female victims who perpetrated the crime in their own homes.” The increase in violence in the state took the form of “18 femicides, two attempted homicides, 34 intentional homicides, 12 attempted homicides, and 54% occurred in the homes of the women themselves, eight femicides of one-year-old girls with signs of sexual assault.” 

Likewise, “cruelty increased. This prolongation of suffering, in beatings, in rapes, in burns, in choking, in discarding the bodies of women.” 

In addition, “a series of human rights violations due to confinement due to the COVID-19 pandemic (…) There is non-compliance with responsibilities by public servants, both in health institutions, educational institutions and jurisdictional units. Impunity worsened. There is a lack of a gender and human rights perspective, which exacerbates the violations (…) The violation of a right is a danger, because it is like a waterfall. Many more rights are violated from the violation of one.” 

The CDMCH indicated that it is particularly concerned about access to justice in the cases it accompanies due to the “suspension of judicial and civil proceedings. It has not been understood by the authorities what it implies that a woman who is a victim of violence can report, can break that silence and go to an institution.”

For its part, Frayba added that “defenders are also women who face daily violence. The UN registered an increase in violence the world. This is not just a specific situation in our communities and our immediate spaces. In Chiapas there is a lot of institutional, structural and historical violence, for which this pandemic situation meant living with our aggressors, reducing the capacity of our mobilizations, not being able to go out to make complaints.”

The organizations finally emphasized that “women have reacted in a very important way. Since the middle of the pandemic, women have begun to go out to the streets to report this situation (…) The mask could have covered our mouths but it did not silence us.”

For more information in Spanish:

Vídeo completo del conversatorio (OSC, 25 de noviembre de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National/International: Women’s Challenges in COVID-19 – A Latin American Balance (June 17, 2020)
Chiapas: Women Prisoners in CERSS No. 5 Denounce Violence in COVID-19 Pandemic (June 8, 2020)
Oaxaca: “Femicidal Violence, The Endless Pandemic”, Oaxaca Consortium (June 8, 2020)
National: Controversy over “Count to Ten” Federal Campaign against Violence (June 4, 2020)
Chiapas: “This year begins with a lot of violence and it is increasing” – Las Abejas de Acteal Civil Society (January 28, 2020)

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