Globe, Latin America, Uncategorized, United Kingdom

Femicide in Latin America, a strengthening form of violence

Fourteen out of the 25 countries with the highest levels of femicide are located in Latin America and the Caribbean. In addition, according to a report pu


blished by ECLAC at the end of last year, the offender is prosecuted in only two of every 100 cases.


Coto Wong


The statistical evidence shows that femicide continues to grow despite the public initiative of gender-sensitive programmes.

ECLAC highlights that El Salvador, with a rate of 14 femicide murders for every 100,000 women, and Honduras, with 11 for every 100,000, are classified as the two Latin American countries with the highest levels of this type criminal offence.

Mexico is 23rd on the list with a rate of three registered femicides for every 100,000 women.

There is also violence against women in Paraguay which continues to be one of its main social problems.

The Ministry of Women’s Affairs’ Women’s Research Observatory (OM) in Paraguay states that in the first quarter of this year, 17 women were killed and 38 left orphaned.

Regardless of age, social status, whether they are indigenous or not, married, single, university educated or not, Paraguayan women are experiencing gender-based terrorism. This can be psychological, physical, verbal, financial and the outcome is always fatal.
This is extremely frightening considering that the spectrum is broad for the offenders and is largely blamed on jealousy (recognised as the main cause), followed by family problems, and not accepting the end of a relationship.

One of the key points to make efforts to tackle femicide more efficient, is to understand that all forms of intimidation affecting women are determined by financial, age, racial and cultural differences and differences in religion far more than by simply being a woman, according to ECLAC.

Specialists from OM refer to machismo as another cause and assure that in today’s societies there is still a deep-rooted masculine population that believes that it is superior to women.

The body belonging to the Ministry of Women’s Affairs revealed that in 2018 there were 59 femicide offences, nine more than in 2017.

According to the OM, the year before, 40.8% of fatalities were caused by partners, 14.1% by an ex-partner, 14.1% by a family member and 11.3% by a friend or person known by the victim. 50 per cent of these women were mothers, and the majority were not older than 30, according to this body.

‘We are seeing that women who have lost their lives in this way were, in the majority, very young, and approximately 50 per cent were mothers leaving a total of approximately 40 children orphaned’, the director general of the Observatory, Raquel Iglesias, states.

Protecting women and children

On 27 December 2016 Law No. 5777 was passed by the Executive Power, ‘For Them – Complete Protection of Women against All Forms of Violence’. The topic of the characterisation of femicide, its full recognition as an offence of extreme violence, as well as the means of protecting women continues to be a priority issue, the senator of the Guasú Front, Esperanza Martínez, explains.

More recently, on the 23 May, the senate also passed, as amended, the bill ‘Financial Compensation for Children and Adolescent Victims of Femicide’.

The regulations seek to create financial compensation for children and adolescents when one of their parents has been charged, indicted or sentenced as a perpetrator, co-perpetrator, instigator or accomplice to a murder of their other parent. (PL)

(Translated by Corrine Harries – Email: – Fotos: Pixabay

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