The need to strengthen the legal framework to provide more effective protection to girls and adolescents is argued. PHOTO: QUARTOSCIRO
Despite the existence of more severe penalties for the crime of femicide in Mexico, the indicators reveal an upward trend in its incidence, accompanied by high levels of impunity in investigations. Data obtained from official sources indicate that between 2015 and 2022, more than 27,000 murders of women, including girls, were documented. Of every hundred victims, eight are minors.
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To address this problem, an initiative has been presented in the Congress of Mexico City. The proposal, promoted by a member of the PRD bench, who chairs the Commission for Attention to the Development of Children, seeks to modify the city’s Penal Code by adding article 148 ter.
The primary objective of this proposal is to introduce a specific aggravating factor in cases of feminicide involving girls and adolescents under 18 years of age. If approved, this modification would allow penalties that could reach up to an additional half of the original sentence to be imposed on the perpetrator of said crime.
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This initiative is based on statistics provided by the Executive Secretariat of the National Public Security System, which indicate that, on average, a feminicide is recorded every 2.4 hours in Mexico. This is equivalent to an average of 10 women murdered daily in various parts of the country.
The legislator highlighted that, in many cases, the feminicide of girls and adolescents has its origin in the violence that is perpetrated in the domestic environment, precisely where they should be safe. Surprisingly, the perpetrators are often family members who have harassed and abused minors for a long period of time.
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It is important to highlight that, although feminicide is already considered an autonomous crime in the Mexican criminal system, the current regulation does not contemplate specific aggravating factors.
Therefore, the need to strengthen the legal framework is argued to provide more effective protection to girls and adolescents, who are considered a particularly vulnerable group against the commission of this crime and, therefore, require specific attention.
State of Mexico, Mexico City and Querétaro were the states with the highest prevalence of attacks against women. PHOTO: GALO CAÑAS/CUARTOSCURO
The proposal focuses on establishing as an aggravating circumstance for the crime of femicide a penalty increased by up to half when the victim is under 18 years of age. Although some studies suggest that toughening penalties does not necessarily reduce the incidence of crime, it is argued that this measure would keep the offender away from society for a prolonged period, thus avoiding possible additional harm.
The legislator emphasized that the underlying problem lies in the lack of effectiveness of the justice system in Mexico, which translates into the impunity that prevails in the punishment of aggressors and predators. This impunity is the result of the ineffectiveness of magistrates, judges, prosecutors and police forces.
It is worth mentioning that this initiative is part of the commitments assumed during the First Working Meeting of the Network of Legislative Commissions on Children and Adolescents. Along with the proposal for the loss of parental rights of feminicides, it aims to reinforce the legal framework of protection for girls and adolescents in Mexico, in an effort to address and stop the growing wave of femicides that affects the country.
Archive image. A man holds a cross during a protest before the Day of the Dead against gender violence and feminicide in Mexico City, Mexico. October 30, 2022. REUTERS/Raquel Cunha
Gender-based violence, also known as violence against women or sexist violence, is a term used to describe violent, abusive, or coercive acts specifically directed toward women because of their gender. This form of violence can manifest itself in different contexts and can include a variety of harmful behaviors, both physical and psychological.
Gender-based violence can take many forms, including domestic violence, sexual harassment, human trafficking for sexual exploitation, female genital mutilation, forced marriage, cyberbullying, street harassment and other gender-based assaults. the gender.
It is important to highlight that gender violence is not limited to the physical; It also includes psychological and emotional aspects, such as manipulation, control, humiliation, and verbal or emotional abuse. This type of violence has serious consequences for women’s health and well-being and can lead to physical injury, mental health problems, and even death in extreme cases.
Gender violence is a violation of fundamental human rights and is considered a global problem. Many countries have implemented laws and policies to prevent and address gender-based violence, as well as to provide support to victims.
However, significant challenges remain in the fight against this form of violence, including public awareness, education, and the elimination of harmful gender stereotypes that perpetuate inequality and violence.