Femicides up by 50% in the country; the worst is in Jalisco, BC, Guanajuato, Campeche, and Quintana Roo

An alarming increase in the murder of women highlights Maria Salguero, geophysicist, and creator of the Map of Femicides in Mexico.

Femicides up by 50% in the country; the worst is in Jalisco, BC, Guanajuato, Campeche, and Quintana Roo
Violent deaths of women. Photo by Mika Baumeister / Unsplash

In 2018, violent deaths of women increased in half of the Mexican territory. The states with a strong presence of organized crime recorded an alarming increase in the murder of women, highlights Maria Salguero, geophysicist, and creator of the Map of Femicides in Mexico.

The high levels of violence in the country and the presence of criminal cells have exacerbated femicidal violence, say activists and specialists interviewed by SinEmbargo. The increase in homicides of women, where there are members of organized crime, does not necessarily imply that they are linked and that is not foreseen or investigated by the authorities, they said.

The protests in the streets of Mexico City and social networks against gender violence and femicides were accentuated in recent days as a result of the wave of testimonies of attempted kidnappings, abductions, and/or forced disappearances in the Metro from the capital of the country. However, the increase in attacks against women spread throughout 2018 in a large part of Mexican territory.

In Mexico between nine and 10 women are killed per day and with an annual total of 3 thousand 580 violent deaths, of which only 834 are investigated as femicides, the number of murders against women perpetrated in 2018 went up nationally by 9.41 percent, compared to 2017, when 3 272 cases were reported and only 735 of these are investigated as femicides, according to the figures of the Executive Secretariat of the National Public Security System (SESNSP). In this way, the number of murders of women grew in 16 states: 50 percent of the country. Guanajuato, Jalisco, Baja California, Campeche a, d Quintana Roo are the states where this crime was shot.

Guanajuato showed the most critical behavior, because in a year the murders of women doubled, going from 171 cases in 2017 to 326 in 2018, which represents an increase of 90.64 percent; In addition, the number of deaths is among the highest in the country: it is only below the State of Mexico, which once again ranked as the most lethal for women with 396 murders. Although Campeche is a state that has a very low incidence of violent deaths of women, it is the state where the percentage increases crime: a hundred percent, since the murders doubled from 7 cases in 2017 to 14 in 2018.

In Quintana Roo, Jalisco, and Baja California attacks increased by 83.3, 70.50, and 57.27 percent, respectively. María Salguero, geophysicist, and creator of the Map of Femicides in Mexico, explains about the murder rate of women per 100 thousand inhabitants, the most violent entities are Colima, Baja California, Guerrero, Chihuahua, Zacatecas, Guanajuato, and Quintana Roo, They register a higher level of 10 victims for every one hundred thousand women.

"Those states already have an epidemic of violence, a rate higher than ten violent deaths per hundred thousand inhabitants represents an epidemic of violence for the World Health Organization (WHO). The levels of violence in Mexico are already suffering, "says Salguero in an interview by SinEmbargo.

The other states where the murders of women rose last year - compared to 2017 - are Nuevo León, with 96 murders in 2018 and an increase of 36 percent; Michoacán (173), 25 percent more; Morelos (82), 24 percent; Guerrero (260), 12 percent; Oaxaca (125), 11 percent; Edomex (396), 10 percent; Mexico City, 9 percent (148); Nayarit (49), 8 percent; San Luis Potosí (53), 8 percent; Colima (79), with an increase of 6 percent.

At the national level, the growth of murders of women has been registered for three years: in 2017, with 3 thousand 272 murders, it grew 17.31 percent concerning 2016, the year that reported at least 2 thousand 789 murders. In 2016, the growth was 30.08 percent concerning 2015, when there were 2 thousand 144 murders of women.

The high levels of violence in the country - which ended 2018 with a total of 33,000 victims of intentional homicide and 28,816 open investigation folders - and the presence of organized crime have exacerbated the expressions of femicide violence, the activists interviewed agreed. María de la Luz Estrada, of the National Observatory of Femicide (OCNF), explained that the systematic violence that is experienced in Mexico, originated by various criminal structures, and criminal gangs, is also "violating women." "I see it in Guanajuato, I see it in Veracruz; they are very similar cases, "he said.

For Maria Salguero, from the Map of Femicides, places like Guanajuato, Guerrero, Jalisco, and Baja California, organized crime is what caused the rise of murders of women by 90 percent. "The struggles for the huachicol, in Guanajuato, caused the murders of women to increase by 90 percent. Some women are killed because they are the sentimental partner of one of the members of the other gang, which is a way of hurting the enemy, murdering their women, or going with their mother. In Zacatecas there, is a case where, since they could not kill a policeman, after eight days they returned for their wife. In Guanajuato, they have raised moms of municipal police, and those are cases that are women who were not involved, and sure there are many more, "said Salguero.

Salguero highlighted that in Baja California, 80 percent of the murders of women occurred in Tijuana, the bloodiest municipality of 2018: "Women can also be victims of organized crime without any link. In the case of Tijuana, the same deputy prosecutor has said: 'The women in Tijuana who have become involved in organized crime issues is because of inequality. "

María de la Luz Estrada, of the National Citizen Observatory of Femicide, denounced that the authorities only link femicidal violence to the domestic sphere; that is, that the aggressors remain only in the close circle of the victims: relatives, friends, or acquaintances; however, the activist stressed that femicidal violence also corresponds to organized crime. "There is a problem that has to do with organized crime, which is human trafficking and disappearance [...] There are cases where women, girls, were brutally murdered, packaged, and in advance that has to be investigated as femicide, that is what we have been fighting with them [authorities], who see only murders linked to crime, "she said.

This February 6 is the year that was published in the Official Gazette of the Federation (DOF) the agreement of the National Council of Public Security with the Attorney General of the Republic (PGR) and the Attorney General of the 32 entities of the country to initiate the investigation of "all violent death of a fraudulent nature of women under femicide protocols". The specialists explained that since the crime of femicide was typified, all intentional homicides must be investigated with a gender perspective to rule out that it is femicide; but in practice, this is not the case.

Of the 3 thousand 580 murders of women that occurred in 2018, only 834 are investigated as femicides; of the 3 thousand 272 that occurred in 2017, at least 735 were classified as femicides. In 2016, of 2 thousand 789 murders, 584 are classified as femicide and in 2015, of the 1 thousand 737 crimes, only 407 are investigated under that criminal type. María de la Luz Estrada insisted that there is a refusal of the authorities to recognize and investigate the femicide as such and they point out that the murders linked to the crime are only for reasons of delinquency and classify them as intentional homicides. Estrada considered that they refuse to investigate all violent deaths as femicide because "they do not want their statistics or figures of femicides to grow".

"This is what we have been fighting, here the Supreme Court [of the Nation's Justice] speaks of the fact that every violent death of a woman must begin research with a gender perspective [....] For us that premise is fundamental in the investigation, but we are seeing a lot of resistance in recognizing femicide, the authority is refusing, hear, but it is a standard, "said the specialist. Maria Salguero agreed that not all states report the murders of women as femicides, "even if they are. It is a way of hiding the figures from the prosecutors. "

The importance to be investigated femicide stressed to Estrada Mendoza, is to know the causes of the problem and that there is clarity about what prevention policy should have the State resolve it. "To know what is happening, and who is depriving women of life to know what they are going to do. You see it in all governments: a total negative. It seems that the authorities are those who do not want to recognize the gravity and that really should be the requirement of citizenship to force the Government to give priority to this issue that is taking lives and disintegrating families, "said the expert.

María Salguero agreed that an investigation of the context of the victim is necessary, without criminalizing them, "to know what leads them to end up in these situations or to know what leads a woman to become involved in organized crime, and which women are attacked by members of the organized crime and that are not related to crime, "she said. The number of murders against women aged 0 to 17 grew by at least 32.30 percent in 2018 compared to the 2017 figure and specialists say "at least" because there is no certainty that official figures report all murders of minors in the Mexican Republic.

During last year, the bloodiest in the modern history of the country, a total of 86 girls and adolescents were reported murdered, 21 more cases than in 2017, when 65 cases were registered, according to the figures processed by the civil organization Red for Children's Rights in Mexico (Redim), which also takes data from the Executive Secretariat of the National Public Security System (SESNSP). In general, femicides of women of all ages maintain a sustained rise in recent years; however, "the rhythm of growth in femicide of girls and adolescents is faster than that of women of 18 years and over", highlights Redim.

The State of Mexico was again placed as the most lethal state to be a woman in 2018, registering a total of 396 murders of women, of which only 106 are investigated as femicides. In the second position, Guanajuato with a total of 326 deaths, only 106 investigated as femicides, and Baja California with 304 cases, only 16 investigated as femicides.

As for the murder rate for every one hundred thousand women, Colima has the highest rate in 2018. In femicides, registered at least 3 women victims of femicide for every one hundred thousand women and at least 17.10 victims of intentional homicide per hundred a thousand women The state of Veracruz registers the highest number of kidnappings of women. Of 300 crimes committed in 2018, the Veracruz entity reports 50 cases. It is followed by the State of Mexico with 45 cases and Tamaulipas with 35 cases.

Tamaulipas has the highest rate of kidnappings of women with a total of 1.88 kidnapping victims for every one hundred thousand women. Mexico City was placed as the state with the highest absolute number of complaints of trafficking in women between 2018 and 2017: with 92 and 133 victims each year, respectively, according to official figures; The state of Oaxaca is followed by 41 cases, Chiapas and Nuevo León with 2 cases each, Tlaxcala with 26 cases and Chihuahua with 25 cases.

The country's capital also concentrates the largest number of emergency calls related to crimes of rape, sexual harassment, and harassment. On the rape reports, Mexico City accumulated a total of 596 calls in 2018; New León follows with a total of 518 calls, and the State of Mexico with 358. Regarding emergency calls related to incidents of harassment and sexual harassment of women, the capital concentrates on a total of 848 reports in 2018, followed by the State of Chihuahua which accumulated 815 reports.

However, Nuevo León is the entity with the highest rate of rape with a total of 19.4 victims per 100,000 women; Next, Quintana Roo with a rate of 15.4; Baja California, with 13.9; Chihuahua, with 13.5 and Mexico City with 13.5 victims for every one hundred thousand women. Chihuahua is the state that registers the highest rate of calls related to incidents of harassment and sexual harassment of women with an estimated 42 cases per hundred thousand women; Next, Colima with 35; Baja California with 28, Mexico City and Querétaro with 18 "incidents" for every one hundred thousand women.