Mexico, much like other Central American countries, has a well-documented problem of gender-based violence against women and femicides – the murder of women or girls committed by men solely because they are females.
Although the issue had been plaguing Latin America and the Caribbean for over two decades, the issue of misogynistic violence has gotten worse with the intensifying drug war.
“Of the 52,210 killings of women recorded over the 32-year period, nearly a third took place in the last six years,” the Guardian quoted in a 2017 report from Mexico’s interior department.
The sharp uptick in femicides and incidents of brutality against women has prompted a number of women to take a stand against this injustice and run for offices – a move that appears to have endangered them even more.
Since September 2017, at least 110 electoral candidates have been assassinated in Mexico, with most of them being women.
In fact, in just 24 hours, three female politicians were gunned down in Mexico.
Pamela Teran Pineda, who was running for the Juchitan council as an Institutional Revolutionary Party member, was fatally shot after leaving a restaurant in Colonia Centro, Mexico City. Her driver and photographer were also murdered.
Juana Iraís Maldonado, the candidate for Green Party Ecologists of Mexico for the district of Huauchinango was also killed after armed suspects opened fire at her vehicle near Cacahuatlán, Zihuateutla. City Public Health, Environment and Education Councilor Erika Cazares, who was present in the car with Maldonado, also couldn’t survive the gunfire.
“It is urgent that the authorities take action on the matter to put an end to the violence and aggression faced by candidates and candidates for public office, within the framework of the current electoral process,” the Green Party said in a statement following the chilling murders.
It is also important to mention Pineda, who was running for re-election, was the daughter of an alleged drug cartel leader who was arrested last year, leaving many to assume her death could have been a gang-related crime.
Whatever the reason behind Pineda’s murder may be, these incidents are a brutal reminder that the issue of femicides and violence against women should not be ignored or put on a backburner anymore.
“Those who commit femicides, or attempted femicides, claim they are being disrespected or cheated on. They are not able to accept being rejected because they believe they have a right, a right over women’s bodies. Femicides typically involve cruelty. There is a level of viciousness and planning. The objective is to punish,” Baría Ysabel Cedano García, head of a Lima-based women’s rights nonprofit, told NBC News last month.
Thumbnail/Banner Credits: Reuters, Imelda Medina