publicidad
The region struggles to ensure justice for the victims of femicide and their families. In Mexico, Irinea Buendia sought for years to prove that her daughter had not committed suicide, but was in fact killed by her husband.

Femicide: the scourge that kills 12 women a day in Latin America

Femicide: the scourge that kills 12 women a day in Latin America

Every two hours, a woman dies in Latin America for the simple fact of being a woman. Femicide is the most dramatic expression of gender-based violence. From acid attacks against women in Colombia, to the #NiUnaMenos protest movement in Argentina, we present stories from different countries in the region and the voices of survivors and fighters.

The region struggles to ensure justice for the victims of femicide and t...
The region struggles to ensure justice for the victims of femicide and their families. In Mexico, Irinea Buendia sought for years to prove that her daughter had not committed suicide, but was in fact killed by her husband.


The lifeless body of Yuliana Samboní, a seven-year-old girl from Colombia, was found in December, under a hot tub in a luxury apartment. Rafael Uribe, a 38-year-old architect from Bogotá, later admitted to kidnapping, torturing and killing the girl. Two months prior, 16-year-old Lucía Pérez was drugged, raped and impaled to death by two men in Mar del Plata, Argentina.

These brutal femicide cases have rattled the continent in recent months, making news across the region. But data show that these types of killings are much more persistent than just a few headlines would suggest.

publicidad

Latin America is among the regions with the most femicides in the world: 12 a day, according to the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC). The commission does not count Brazil, one of the countries with the worst records of gender-based violence, because data from there is not available.

That means that approximately every two hours a woman dies in the region for simply being a woman.

Univision News gathered data on femicides from official and independent sources in 18 Latin American countries in 2016. If information wasn't available for last year, we used the most recent data.

Femicides in Latin America

Mexico
Number of femicides
2,555 in 2015. That year the rate of femicides was 4 per 100,000 women.
What the law says
The 2007 General Law on Women's Access to a Life Free of Violence defined femicidal violence for the first time.
Penalties
From 20 to 60 years in prison. The conviction is aggravated if there was any relationship between the murderer and the victim, including romantic, kinship, work, teaching or any relationship involving subordination or superiority.

Women have always faced gender-based violence. But the term “femicide” (also known as “feminicide”) has only recently been adopted in Latin America. In total, 16 countries in the region have laws that condemn the crime, most of which have been approved in recent years.

Three countries still do not criminalize femicide: Cuba, where gender-based crimes have no specific name or penalty and the press does not speak of them; Dominican Republic, one of the countries with the highest rates of violence against women; and Uruguay, where no law recognizes femicide.

El salvador

In the region's most violent country, killings of women pushed aside

cuba

In Cuba, where 'femicide' is not a crime, the country grapples with gender-based violence

argentina

Argentina: a pioneer in women's rights

Recognizing the term and handing perpetrators specific penalties is a political statement that women's lives matter, experts say.

“When a country does not investigate and does not sanction, it’s like nothing ever happened,” Mexican lawyer Karla Micheel Salas tells Univision News. “When we bring femicide to the criminal code, it changes the perception. There is greater care by the authorities to charge a perpetrator of a femicide, because it’s seen as a violation of human rights.”

She litigated the first case of femicide in the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in 2008, where the Mexican State was held responsible for the murders of women in Ciudad Juárez.

In Mexico, as in many countries in the region, it remains difficult to find updated statistics around the crime of femicide. That’s why more non-governmental organizations, academics and journalists are getting involved.

In their own words

The definition of "femicide" also varies in different countries. For example, in Chile and Nicaragua the crime is only recognized when the murder occurs within the framework of interpersonal relationships. That’s the reality in most cases, but not all. So if Yuliana Samboní’s death had occurred in Chile or Nicaragua, the murder would not have been considered a femicide since the girl had no relationship to her abductor.

Beyond legislation, states must also put in place public policies that guarantee victims' access to justice, experts say.

"In many cases, we find that the perpetrators or killers had been denounced before and in some of the cases the women were taking precautionary measures, and yet even when they commit that crime there’s impunity," says Nieves Rico, Director of the Gender Affairs Division of ECLAC.

publicidad

Such is the case of Lucía Sandoval, a survivor of gender-based violence in Paraguay. She was almost killed by her partner after she accused him of mistreatment. During a physical struggle, she survived a gunshot that ended up killing him.

De las 32 entidades mexicanas, Chihuahua (donde está Ciudad Juárez), es...
Chihuahua is the only state in Mexico that that does not recognize femicide as a crime.

Despite expert confirmation that Sandoval did not pull the trigger, she spent four years in jail. She considers the government of Paraguay responsible, as she was ignored by the justice system after seeking help. They even instructed her to deliver a restraining order to her then-husband herself.

The lack of access to justice "is a very serious and severe problem in all the countries of the region," says the ECLAC director.

In Latin America, feminicide is only the most dramatic expression of gender-based violence present in the daily lives of Latin American women. Women face a whole series of practices rooted in macho culture.

"Behind it is a culture of discrimination, of misogyny, where these criminals are demonstrating that the woman’s body belongs to them, that women belong to them,” says Salas, the Mexican lawyer. “When they are murdered they are not only deprived of life, but of any symbol of humanity that would make them recognizable.”

Credits
Project coordination: Lorena Arroyo, Maye Primera, José López, Jessica Weiss and Almudena Toral; Text: Lorena Arroyo, Macarena Gagliardi (Argentina), Mónica Baró (Cuba), Laura Aguirre (El Salvador), Alba Tobella (Colombia) Janet Cacelín (México) and Santi Carneri (Paraguay). Video: Andrea Patiño. Infographics: Luis Melgar. Photography: Adriana Zehbrauskas (México) and Santi Carneri (Paraguay). Photo coordination: David Maris and Nacho Corbella. Additional research: Macarena Gagliardi (Argentina), Mery Vaca (Bolivia), Daniela Mohor (Chile), Álvaro Murillo (Costa Rica), Alba Tobella (Colombia), Mónica Baró (Cuba), Alberto Andreo (Ecuador), Efrén Lemus (El Salvador), Bill Barreto (Guatemala), Xiomara Orellana (Honduras), Wilfredo Miranda (Nicaragua), Nicanor Alvarado (Panamá), Mónica Vargas (Perú), Magdalena Martínez (Uruguay) and Florantonia Singer (Venezuela).

..
.

Nelson Denis, author of 'War Against All Puerto Ricans,' details how the commonwealth's 119-year-long association with the U.S. has produced total economic and governing dependence. With over $70 billion in crushing debt, Puerto Rico's governor turned to the courts on Wednesday to put certain debts before a federal bankruptcy court.
We traveled to Ciudad Juárez to see if hundreds of thousands of jobs in the Mexican maquiladora industry would return to the United States if Trump were to modify or abandon the NAFTA free trade agreement, as his government is considering. A border tax would have serious consequences in Mexican cities.
A wave of demonstrations in Venezuela has left several dead and hundreds more detained in the last two weeks. Univision reporter Tamoa Calzadilla explains how a democratic crisis, inflation and shortages of food and medicine have sent Venezuelans into the streets.
Gina Potes and Patricia Espitia were attacked with acid in Colombia, a country with one of the highest number of attacks of this kind. They have created a sisterhood, which they have used to help other victims and raise awareness about these brutal attacks.
As the legend goes, a UFO landed in Capilla del Monte in 1986, leaving a mark on the side of the Pajarillo mountains. Since then, this Argentinian village has lived off UFO tourism. It's currently hosting its annual Alien Festival.
The announcement to scrap the benefits came as a bucket of cold water for the Cuban migrants who just arrived in the United States. As this group waits for their papers, the uncertainty grows on whether they will ever be reunited with the relatives they left on the island.
A group of Argentines diagnosed with mental illness set up a radio station from where they broadcast their experiences
How Fidel Castro's plan to save Cuban baseball unraveled. The once mighty amateur baseball champions have lost much of their talent in recent years to U.S. Major League Baseball. Now the Cuban government is in discussions with MLB to stop the desertions. But will a Trump presidency make that more difficult?
A half-century of armed conflict has left behind 8 million victims in Colombia. It has also affected the country's unique natural resources. We explore the war’s impact on Colombia’s environment.
Forty three students in Mexico were abducted two years ago, and to this day, none have ever been found. When his son Jorge disappeared, New York City plumber Antonio Tizapa began to run marathons, not to win, but to send a message at the end of each race: he won’t stop until he finds his son or the truth about what really happened on that shameful day. On Sunday, Antonio and 20 friends will be running the New York City Marathon.
The evidence against El Chapo: undercover recordings, intercepted communications, protected witnesses’ declarations, drug seizures, and a confession. As U.S. prosecutors prepare their case against the world's most feared drug trafficker, this is what the government's case is built around.
Six months after the U.S. president visited the island, Cubans are divided over his impact. A government reform program is on hold as anxious residents pray for a tourist invasion.
Cubans seeking to flee the island are taking to rustic, homemade boats in increasing numbers since the U.S. and Cuba agreed to normalize relations 18 months ago.
La Tropical beer was popular in Cuba before the 1959 Revolution, but the factory was nationalized and the brewery later closed.
In Mexico, a country where the media is often accused of being bought and sold by political parties or cowed by criminals, reporter Javier Valdez was a rare breed: a dedicated reporter working at RioDoce, an independent weekly newspaper in Sinaloa, investigating drug trafficking and organized crime. Valdez was murdered on Monday. Univision interviewed him in 2012 for this video about his work.
Charytín rompe en llanto al confesar cómo ha afrontado sola los golpes que le ha dado la vida
Nuestra querida Charytín Goyco abrió su corazón y relató que, aunque su vida no ha sido nada fácil, ha logrado salir adelante completamente sola, sobre todo tras vivir violencia y haber enviudado.
Detrás de cámaras: ¡Alan Tacher confundió a Satcha Pretto con Ninel Conde!
¡Charytín llegó a traerle alegría a Despierta América! Y la 'Rubia de América' le confesó a Satcha que está enamorada de sus dos bellos bebés. Y encima de eso, ¡Alan confundió la cara de Satcha con la de Ninel! No te pierdas este Detrás de Cámaras.
La inesperada reacción de Justin Bieber tras atropellar a un paparazzi ha dejado al mundo muy sorprendido
Después de arrollar accidentalmente a un paparazzi, el mundo entero se ha sorprendido de la reacción tan humana y positiva que ha tenido Justin Bieber. ¡Y nuestro panel no se cansó de aplaudirle dicha acción al cantante!
ICE detiene a inmigrante tras salir de hospital donde estuvo en coma por dos días
Una vez que el hospital le dio de alta al joven, agentes de ICE se lo llevaron detenido. Los familiares desconocen su futuro mientras esté en custodia de inmigración.
publicidad
Caridades Católicas de Houston ofrece conversaciones de apoyo a la población inmigrante
La organización realiza esto de manera gratuita tres martes de cada mes, en donde brinda diversos servicios migratorios y asistencia legal. Cualquier persona puede solicitar acceder al programa de ayuda.
"Es un poco hiriente, pero el presidente es un líder fuerte", dijo Sessions sobre ataques de Donald Trump en su contra
Así se refirió el fiscal general, Jeff Sessions, a las críticas hechas por el presidente Trump en las últimas semanas. Las declaraciones las hizo durante una visita a El Salvador, país en donde busca apoyo para combatir a la pandilla MS-13.
Detienen al violinista Wuilly Arteaga por manifestarse durante el paro cívico en Venezuela
El músico adquirió popularidad por estar presente en las manifestaciones opositoras en contra del gobierno de Nicolás Maduro.
¿A qué se debe la demora en trámites de inmigración a EEUU para los cubanos?
Las solicitudes por la ley de ajuste cubano y otros trámites para obtener la residencia y la ciudadanía de Estados Unidos, se están demorando más de lo usual. Según la abogada de inmigración Grisel Ybarra, están aplicando todas las leyes que están en los libros para hacer la inmigración a este país lo más correcto posible, pero a la vez lo más difícil posible. Y la juramentación de la ciudadanía, usualmente en un corto plazo después de la entrevista, ahora puede demorarse más de 120 días.
Oficial: Jonathan dos Santos es nuevo jugador del Galaxy
Tras varios días de especulaciones, finalmente se concretó la llegada del mediocampista mexicano al conjunto de Los Ángeles.
Confirmado: James Rodríguez hace oficial su separación de Daniela Ospina
De última hora: el astro colombiano del fútbol James Rodríguez confirmó de manera oficial su divorcio de la voleibolista Daniela Ospina, para tristeza de sus fanáticos.
OFICIAL: Jonathan dos Santos es fichado por LA Galaxy como Jugador Franquicia y jugará junto a su hermano Giovani
Tras 14 años en el fútbol español entre el Barcelona y Villarreal, el mediocampista mexicano dio el salto al continente americano. 'Jona' es el tercer Jugador Franquicia junto al francés Romain Alessandrini y su hermano Giovani.
Pittsburgh aseguró la mayor protección para Roethlisberger
Los Steelers extendieron el contrato del tackle izquierdo Alejandro Villanueva por cuatro años y 24 millones de dólares.