October 25, 2020

Argentine women strike after fatal rape of teenager

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_91934082_lucxa_pxrez4-jpg_1577963591From BBC

Activists in Argentina called for women across the country to walk out of work for an hour on Wednesday in protest over the horrific rape and murder of a teenage girl.

, 16, died earlier this month in the city of Mar del Plata.

Two men who left her at a hospital said she overdosed on drugs. But doctors found evidence she had been subjected to extreme sexual violence.

A march is planned for 17:00 local time (20:00 GMT) in .

Activist groups called on women to wear black and to leave their places of work for an hour at midday on Wednesday (14:00 GMT). They are calling the actions “Miercoles Negro” – Spanish for Black Wednesday.

“In your office, school, hospital, law court, newsroom, shop, factory, or wherever you are working, stop for an hour to demand ‘no more machista violence’,” the march organisers wrote.

Machismo is the Spanish word for an exaggerated form of masculinity, which campaigners say engenders attitudes that in their extreme form lead to men killing women.

Tens of thousands of people rallied in the streets in June last year in protest at violence against women, and repeated marches and rallies have taken on the slogan “ni una menos” – Spanish for “not one woman less”.

Lucia’s 19-year-old brother, Matias, wrote in a Facebook post that taking to the streets and shouting together was the only way to prevent “thousands more Lucias” being killed, and the only way to “close her eyes and see her rest in peace”.

On average, one woman is killed in domestic violence cases every 36 hours in the country.

Argentina adopted an anti-femicide law in 2012, with harsher penalties for men who kill women when gender plays a part in the crime.

The new legislation also has tough penalties for domestic violence. Fifteen other countries in Latin America have written such laws, but critics say they are not being effectively implemented.

Earlier this year, Argentina’s President Mauricio Macri announced a series of measures to try to tackle violence against women, such as funding electronic tags for violent men, and creating a network of women’s refuges. The measures will begin next year.

Three men have been arrested in connection with Lucia’s death.

Prosecutors say she was drugged with marijuana and cocaine before the rape.

A foreign object was thrust into her anus and caused pain so severe that she went into cardiac arrest.

Lucia died shortly after she was taken to hospital.

The lead prosecutor, , told the media: “I know it’s not very professional to say this, but I am a mother and a woman and I have seen a thousand things in my career, but never anything equal to this litany of abhorrent acts.”

Lucia’s mother, Marta, said: “We can’t understand such barbarity. It’s impossible to understand.”

“The way they killed her was inhuman,” said Lucia’s father, Guillermo.

The country’s Justice Minister, , met Lucia’s parents last week and said the government was working to make sure young people “do not end up as the victims of these tragic acts”.

IMAGE:
Lucia Perez was 16 years old and a high school student when she suffered the rape that killed her. FACEBOOK

Women tweeted pictures of themselves wearing black – this one wrote “We want to live”.

Both men and women joined this walkout at a town hall in the south of Spain, and the tweeter wrote that they had stopped to shout “we want to live”

Many people tweeted pictures of black ribbons and used the hashtag “ni una menos” – not one woman less

For more on this story go to: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-37703406

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