The Crisis Happening in Mexico


Photo: Jaime Puebla

Claire Gibson

Thousands of women march against gender-based violence in Cancun, Mexico. Photographer: Alonso Cupul

There has been a crisis going on in Mexico for the past 2 decades called femicides, the World Health Organization generally defines femicide as the “intentional murder of women because they are women.” Femicide typically involves domestic violence with men as the malefactor. The malefactor being the person who commits the crime.

The first major cases of female homicides were in the 1990s, though Mexico only officially began counting the femicide data in 2012. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s (AMLO) administration has tried responding to the femicides, but the crisis still remains unsolved. In 2018, 93% of crimes committed against women were not reported or even investigated. Since January 1st of 2020, 386 women have been murdered as a result of femicides. 

In a story published on March 4th of this year, Lizbeth Diaz of U.S. News & World Report wrote the story of Becky Bios, a survivor of attempted femicide. Her boyfriend had beaten her and left her with a ruptured gallbladder and in respiratory arrest. She fell into a coma for about 2 weeks in a clinic in central Mexico. ” Waking up from the coma, I didn’t remember anything. I looked at my body, I was extremely thin. I wanted to talk but felt the tube in my throat,” said the woman. “I’d never felt so vulnerable.”

Approximately 10 women are murdered every day, and because of that 77% of Mexican women report not feeling safe. It is very difficult to take legal action against these crimes because domestic violence cases are often seen as private matters, therefore it is seen as something not requiring the law. Mexicos president has downplayed calls to emergency hotlines by saying that 90% of the calls were false reports. In a story published by CNN “It’s not that the calls are false, it’s more than the calls aren’t followed through to completion, so they’re considered incomplete,” Maria Salguero, a Mexican femicide investigator states.

With Mexicos inaction and ignorance against femicides, the rates of female homicide are higher than ever. Some demand for harsher sentences, but since Mexico’s view on femicides haven’t changed, it would be proven meaningless. García-Del Moral an assistant professor at the University of Guelph stated, “If 8 out of 10 crimes are not even prosecuted, then what’s the point.” Mexico is a country that has deep roots in patriarchy and stereotypical gender roles. Machismo culture is a very big problem in Mexico and most definitely contributes to the violence against women. Machismo is generally defined as “strong or aggressive masculine pride”. A man’s childhood is usually to blame, for having a distant father, son relationships where affection and intimacy are scarce. this gives men a certain sense of inferiority. Men are taught that the more violent they are the more masculine they are.