In Mexico, 3,462 women were killed between January and November 2021, more than ten a day on average. The figure for this year has reached 1,320 – an average of 11 murders each day – meaning that Mexico has the highest femicide rate in the world.
Luis Manuel Arce Isaac
Statistics for femicide cases involving girls and adolescents make for grim reading: 11 were killed in the first two months of 2015, 2016 and 2017. This figure reached 13 in 2018, 20 in 2019, 25 in 2020, and 8 in 2021. In the first four months of this year, 19 girls have already been raped and killed, some of them just six years old.
These figures from the Executive Secretariat of the National Public Security System are terrifying. What is worrying for women’s organisations and the population in general is that, despite the measures the government is taking to end or reduce violence in the country, femicide continues to rise.
The murder of Debanhi Escobar -the 18-year-old young woman from Monterrey who was abducted, raped and beaten to death- sparked marches and demonstrations in almost every state in the country.
Government sources admit that over the last eight years, femicide rates have been steadily increasing; the Covid-19 pandemic managed to reduce them slightly, but this reduction was only temporary.
Data from the National Commission to Prevent and Eradicate Violence against Women show that, from the first two months of 2015 to date, the number of femicides recorded in the country has increased year after year.
Statistics for that period show that there were 63 femicides in 2015, 95 in 2016, 120 in 2017, 139 in 2018, 142 in 2019, 167 in 2020 and 154 in 2021. This year, the figure stands at 157 after just four months.
These figures are impossible to digest and accept, say the leaders of these organisations. It is therefore only right to demand that the government does much more to stop this brutal upward trend, to reassure women and to end families’ suffering. The government has strengthened military surveillance and presence in almost all states, particularly those where the most murders are reported, such as Nuevo Leon and its capital, Monterrey, which is currently experiencing an unbelievable wave of criminal kidnappings.
Although many women have been found alive, many others were killed, as in the case of Debanhi.
In this particular case, protesters have rejected the suggestion that the young woman accidentally fell into an abandoned 4-metre-deep water-filled cistern in a motel.
The autopsy showed that she was raped and beaten all over her body, including a fatal wound to the head, leading the people of Nuevo Leon to protest. As highlighted by the organised groups of women, the most important thing is that while the policy intended to reduce violence and social insecurity has been successful for some cases of intentional homicide, it has not managed to reduce femicide cases. They demand an analysis of closed cases and of the increase in murders, as well as new plans and programmes to stop this brutal wave of crimes that justify the women’s rebellion.