Series of femicides cast a dark shadow over Mexico's 'sunshine state
According to the United Nations Women, the number of women murdered in Mexico has now reached a point where it can be classified as a pandemic! According to statistics from the National Citizen Femicide Observatory,on average, six women are murdered every day in Mexico. Of the 3,892 femicides that the group identified in the years 2012 and 2013, only 24 percent were investigated by authorities. Of the 24 percent that were investigated, only 1.6 percent led to the sentencing of the perpetrator!http://america.aljazeera.com/multimedia/2015/1/mexico-s-pandemicfemicides.html
Many of us have read or heard of the number of femicides occurring in Ciudad Juarez, which are thought to be the work of a serial killer. Yet, what has been kept largely out of the limelight have been the femicides occurring within the State of Mexico, the Mexican states along U.S. and Mexico border and the border between Canada and the U.S. According to the Al Jazeera article noted above, when Mexican President Peña Nieto was governor of the State of Mexico, 2005-2011, the number of femicides doubled. Yet, now that he is in a position to actually combat this issue, he has remained silent. Mexico's government and police forces often refuse to acknowledge that the women are victims of a violent offense. Rather than conducting full investigations they seek any excuse to lay the blame on the victims themselves. They will attribute their deaths to the victim's working in the sex trade or drug use discounting vehement denials by family members. Families that report women as missing, especially along border states, are often told by government officials that the women are most likely living and working in the United States, which makes it impossible for them to investigate. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/mexicos-epidemic-of-missing-and-murdered-women/article25137141/
Mexico's culture of machismo and racism towards the indigenous population also plays a role in the failure to investigate and the lack of prosecution. It seems that the only way to make the government of Mexico to take notice and combat this serious issue is to hit them economically. Mexico relies on tourism and the money tourists spend while vacationing there. Rather than planning a vacation in Mexico, look elsewhere. I for one am sick and tired of the pervasive corruption throughout every level of government, the high crime rates, the system of injustice that keeps honest people incarcerated while simultaneously allowing drug kingpins to "escape," and now a failure to protect women. My dollars are just as welcomed in the Bahamas and the beaches are exceptional.
Quintana Roo is Mexico’s sunshine state, a booming tourists’ playground which draws record numbers of holiday-makers to its golden beaches, coral reefs, Mayan ruins and all-inclusive package deals.
But in recent weeks, the Caribbean region has been badly shaken by a string of brutal murders of women – which authorities have seemed keen to downplay.
Within the space of three weeks, seven women have been murdered, bringing the total to 18 so far this year. At least two of the victims were strangled, and several had been sexually assaulted before their bodies were dumped in public places. All the women were Mexican.
This latest surge in murders has renewed tensions between activists against gender violence, and government officials who accuse them of trying to derail tourism and economic progress.
Celina Izquierdo Sánchez, from the Quintana Roo Observatory of Social and Gender Violence, said that a “time bomb” of violence against women had exploded because state officials played down the scale of the problem. “Nothing was done due to the false belief that recognising and tackling gender violence would affect tourism,” she said. “Justice will not reduce tourism.”
Situated on the lush tropical Yucatan peninsula, Quintana Roo is the jewel in the crown of Mexico’s flourishing tourism industry. A record 10 million holidaymakers and four million cruise ship passengers visited the state in 2014, accounting for almost 30% of tourists to the country, according to the Tourism Board (Sedetur).
This year is looking even stronger, with millions of North Americans and Europeans expected in Cancun and Playa del Carmen during the winter months.
But in an attempt to protect its idyllic image, authorities have long preferred to minimize the state’s problems.
In 2005, investigative reporter Lydia Cacho exposed the involvement of high profile businessmen and politicians in a child pornography and prostitution ringhttp://www.theguardian.com/world/2007/dec/20/mexico.jotuckman operating in Cancun. She was arrested for defamation, tortured and threatened with rape in what was later revealed to be a plot to silence her.
“I’ve been systematically accused by the governor and his news outlets of being ‘an enemy of the state’ because I’ve demonstrated institutional weaknesses, high levels of impunity, corruption and violence – including gender-based violence, the increase in torture and use of the justice system as a punishment tool against political enemies,” Cacho recently wrote.
Quintana Roo also has the highest level of reported sexual violence in the country. It has no DNA lab and only one women’s refuge.
This latest grisly wave of gender violence began on 18 October when the naked body of Rebeca Rivera Neri, 24, was found dumped in Cancun. Originally from the state of Veracruz, Rivera had been strangled and badly beaten.
Rebecca Rivera Neri, 24, who was murdered and found dumped in Cancun
The next victim was tourism undergraduate student María Carrasco Castilla, 19, who was raped, murdered and abandoned at a vacant lot.
Her murder drove thousands onto the streets of Cancun’s upmarket hotel district to demand the declaration of a ‘gender alert’ – an emergency mechanism introduced into law in 2007 following a surge of hate crimes against women in the border town of Ciudad Juarez. But just hours after the protest, the body of another murdered woman was found in the city.
The state governor Roberto Borge Angulo, who was attending a tourism convention in London at the time, issued a statement in which he claimed the murders were all cases of family violence.
“Those who speak of femicides and promote the [gender] alert are only looking to attack the success of Quintana Roo, hamper the development and sustained growth in tourism, employment generation, and the economy of families,” he said.
Dr Monica Franco, a forensic criminologist and gender violence expert, said that the murders were part of a broader context of violence against women.
“Femicides are not an isolated phenomenon. They are part of a chain of events beginning with a failure to tackle abuse and violence in the home, which eventually grows into murder,” she said.
Re: Series of femicides cast a dark shadow over Mexico's 'sunshine state
Mexico-Watcher, your photograph does not require a caption. It literally made my heart sink and took my breath away. The indignity shown to this poor victim by the offenders makes my blood boil with rage, bastards! Thank you for adding to this important topic.
Re: Series of femicides cast a dark shadow over Mexico's 'sunshine state
Yeah all over the news here.Apparently most of them coming here have been many years in refugee camps in Lebanon,many refused to go to Canada citing its too far away or too cold.Many Syrians coming here are Christians [the majority] and the worst off ones whatever that means.