On November 25th, within the framework of International Day to Eradicate Violence against Women, several civil and collective organizations, including the Chiapas Center for Women’s Rights (CDMCH in its Spanish acronym) and the Movement in Defense of Land and Territory (MODEVITE in its Spanish acronym), held a march in San Cristobal de Las Casas. On their way from the Municipal Administrative Unit to the Plaza de la Paz they made a stop in front of the Women’s Hospital to report cases of obstetric violence and cases in which women with little knowledge of Spanish were pressured into being sterilized by doctors. They gave the floor to several women, including women from Tseltal and Tsotsil peoples, who shared their experiences on how they were treated in hospitals.
In addition there was a pronouncement from MODEVITE at the subsequent rally in which they pointed out that according to data from several feminist organizations and groups there were 166 violent deaths of women, of which only 76 were classified as femicide up to October 31st.
They demanded that “the corresponding investigations of femicides be carried out and all cases be judged with a gender perspective, to grant justice and non-repetition. The developmental programs that reproduce machismo in our communities and increase the violence experienced by women be eliminated. That the militarization of our communities and ejidos be stopped, the criminalization against human rights defenders cease,” they finally declared.
At the same time there was a press conference called by Mujeres Libres COLEM, an organization that has worked on the issue of femicide violence for more than 30 years and together with the National Citizen Observatory of Femicide (OCNF in its Spanish acronym) among other organizations has achieved a Gender Violence Alert Declaration in Chiapas in 2016. It was noted that since that statement there have been 355 cases of violence in the state of Chiapas, of which 139 are obvious femicides. “This year the account goes over 140 cases: Femicides 53; Possible femicides 9; equated femicide 2; accident 12; homicide 8; suicide 6; other violent deaths 2; plus 48 cases that qualify as an attempt,” said Martha Figueroa Mier, a member of COLEM.
She also said that “[…] and from the current governor Rutilio Escandon Cadenas, he has counted 144 records from which 53 have been femicides, which contradicts his unfortunate statements that there are no femicides in Chiapas”, referring to a video from Suceso Chiapas del Gobernador published in February.
I also affirm that many of the authorities still do not consider many of these deaths as femicides although Mariana Lima Buendia’s family, violently killed by her husband, fought up to the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN in its Spanish acronym) so that the criterion of that “Every violent death of women be investigated at the beginning as femicide.”
According to data collected by the National Bank of Data and Information on Cases of Violence against Women (BANAVIM in its Spanish acronym), more than 406,000 aggressors of girls, adolescents and adult women in Mexico have been identified in the last 12 years, figures that indicate that aggressions are not isolated cases but are a structural problem.
“Violence is a continuum, women suffer both in the public and private spheres and in all areas of their lives. The origins of this violence are discrimination and gender inequality,” warned Natalia Calero, a program management specialist at UN Women in Mexico.
BANAVIM also observed that 372,687 of the 406,000 attacks, that is to say 91% percent, were committed in the family environment. It should be noted that it is not only about physical violence but also psychological, economic, sexual and patrimonial violence.
For more information in Spanish:
Exigen más acciones para erradicar la violencia contra las mujeres (NVT Noticias el 26 de noviembre de 2019)
“No hay feminicidios en Chiapas”: Rutilio Escandón (Voces Feministas el 20 de febrero de 2019)
For more information from SIPAZ:
National: Presentation of ‘Emergent Plan to Guarantee the Integrity, Security and Life of Women and Girls in Mexico” (March 14, 2019)
Nacional : OSC denuncian omisiones en investigación y combate a feminicidios (August 16, 2018)
National/International: “Final Observations on the Ninth Periodic Report from Mexico, the Convention for the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women” Published (August 6, 2018)