By KELIN DILLON
According to a group of psychologists and sociologists from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and La Salle University, Mexico’s enduring violence against women and femicide crisis is a result of a number factors: the continued normalization of violence in the country, repeated impunity for perpetrators and the Mexican government’s methodology of publicly characterizing protestors against the femicide crisis as aggressors or adversaries, rather than helping support or address the cause.
The academic release comes following the news that Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum would be implementing a new emergency line throughout the capital, in hopes to provide the area’s women with mental health services and police attention in the event of violence. Approximately 10 women are murdered each day in Mexico, with 51.4 percent of the reported cases ending in impunity.
According to the UNAM and La Salle academics, Mexico’s violence against women issue has only become increasingly worse under the current administration of Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) – claims backed up by Mexico’s documented rising homicide rate.
For UNAM professor Tania Rocha, Mexico’s continual violence against women and minors are “unfortunately normalizing the violence in the country, and even the media participate in it in something that is already defined as ‘the pedagogy of cruelty.’”
“Unfortunately, these crimes are often attempted to be justified, just as burning a woman alive or throwing acid at her is characterized as the result of couple conflicts or crimes of passion, but there is no talk of an unequal sociocultural system between men and women, and sexism and misogyny,” Rocha went on to say, stating that the enduring crisis is a result of the normalization of the “patriarchal, misogynistic and sexist gaze,” as well as continued impunity against the aggressors.
The startling trend of burning women to death has become particularly prominent in July, when numerous women were murdered with this method, including the cases of Margarita Ceceña, Luz Raquel Padilla Gutiérrez, and most recently, an epileptic 11-year-old who was doused in alcohol and burned alive in a shelter in Jalisco, but fortunately survived the attack.
“The most serious thing about all this is that we have seen social decomposition, a kind of social corrosion where neither the law nor the institutions are respected, and hitting or assaulting a woman is not even frowned upon or sanctioned by those in power,” said La Salle sociologist Felipe Gaytán. “You can attack a woman and you know there will be no consequences, which is very serious.”
Much of the blame can be placed on the shoulders of AMLO, said Gaytán, considering the continued use of the executive’s public daily press conferences to label feminist protestors as “violent” and a problem that needs to be addressed with “contempt,” an approach that exacerbates and normalizes the violence against women issue in the face of the public. rather than addressing the source of the protests at its roots.