Femicide is a serious problem

With an increase in murders facing women, Mexico is struggling.


Stephanie Arreola, Staff Writer

Mexico has been plagued by a wave of murders in the state of Nuevo León. The killings made headlines because they all had something in common: the murders are all tied together by the classification of “Femicide.” The term is used to describe the murder of a woman solely based off of her gender. According to The Guardian, there have been 52 women reported missing in Nuevo León this year. 

Last year Mexico recorded 1,015 cases of femicide—when a woman is murdered specifically because of her gender—compared with 977 in 2020. Overall, about 3,500 women were killed.” 

The murders and how the police in Mexico handle cases involving women sparked an uproar. Women began protesting and rioting in the streets of Mexico City last year to show the police that they want justice. A case involving an 18-year-old woman added more flames into the fire. 

Debanhi Susana Escobar Bazaldúa’s body was found in a motel water tank in Monterrey, Mexico on April 21, 13 days after being reported missing on April 9. She was last seen at the Nueva Castilla Motel in Monterrey and was dropped off by a cab driver who reportedly tried to make advances at her. According to investigators, her cause of death was stated as blunt force trauma to the head, and they believe that she had fallen and hit her head, but her father believes that she was abused and said that she was strangled and beaten.

It’s no surprise why in today’s day and age so many women are afraid to walk alone on the streets. It’s dangerous for anyone to walk around alone as anything could happen at any given time, but for women they are seen as the “easier targets.”   

Edith Olivares Ferreto, the Executive Director of Amnesty International in Mexico, said “11 women are killed in this country every day. We have at least 20,000 women who are missing in Mexico. And the state’s failures in searching for these women and investigating what has happened to them have remained unchanged for almost 30 years now.”

Women have always been placed in the role of “housewife” and the machismo mentality in Mexico forces them to stay in that role. Mexican women are expected to stay home, clean the house, cook dinner and take care of the children. They are detained by the role they were placed into by society and often struggle to break away from it. With this sort of machismo mentality, the police don’t care about finding the predators, but instead finding the bodies and closing the cases. They would rather have the bodies of the victims found and taken care of instead of searching for the truth. Mexico has a history of its people not trusting the police. 

Activist Frida Guerrera told The Guardian, “When a woman is killed and nothing happens, it kills her whole family, her whole society. Police will find the body sometimes, and then the investigation just stops, so the predators are never brought to justice, and by the next day, they’ve taken another girl. People don’t understand until it’s their own daughter,” she said, urging Mexicans to take the crisis more seriously. “Society will forget again like it has forgotten before. But society should in reality be very worried.” 

This is the culture in Mexico and it doesn’t show any improvements. However in recent years women have become more involved in politics. Mexico City’s first Femicide Unit, led by Sayuri Herrera, was formed to find justice for the women who are being harmed with little to no repercussions everyday. Guerrera states that rampant impunity is to blame in a country where 90% of all crimes go unsolved. Mexico needs to start taking people’s lives more seriously as anyone with money or alcohol could easily corrupt someone.