Macho violence does not give truce to Bolivian women in 2018

Macho violence does not give truce to Bolivian women in 2018

Violence against women in Bolivia has not given a truce in 2018, in which there have been more than a hundred femicides and there were events like the recent group rape of a young woman who shook the country.

Bolivia has been in force since 2013 a law that protects women from all types of violence and punishes femicide with 30 years in prison, the maximum penalty of Bolivian legislation.

Despite this, sexist violence continues to be a major problem in the country, where every three days a femicide occurs, according to official data cited by international organizations and organizations defending gender equality.

In the absence of updated data, Bolivian media have registered at least 108 femicides this year, while reports of family violence registered in the Public Ministry between January and September reach 18,576 cases.

Among those who have most moved is the one denounced by the feminist organization Mujeres Creando, of a peasant from a rural municipality in La Paz who spent half a year in jail for murdering her husband after being caught in the middle of raping his 14-year-old daughter .

A judge determined this week that the woman, accused of "murder by violent emotion", will be able to defend herself in freedom.

The gang rape of an 18-year-old girl who ended up in an intensive care hospital, which occurred a few weeks ago in the largest city in the country, Santa Cruz, also caused outrage.

The case happened less than a month after Bolivian President Evo Morales announced the creation of a "special cabinet" to deal with issues of violence against women and children.

Four of the young defendants were arrested preventively, while one fifth is a minor.

The fact generated an indignation in the country compared to the case of "La Manada" of Spain, the group of five young people sentenced to nine years in prison for sexual assault on a girl at the San Fermin festivities in 2016.

While there were voices of support for the victim, there were also those who blamed her for what happened, such as the mother of a defendant.

The vice president of the country, Álvaro García Linera, was last week "horrified" by the case and urged society to stop violence against women and children.

In statements to Efe, the executive director of the Women's Coordinator, Monica Novillo, lamented that Bolivia closes the year with these events "that are dismaying public opinion."

Novillo remarked "the need to transform the collective imaginary" of society, which has reacted "in a very conservative way to an act of rape" like the one in Santa Cruz.

UN Women in Bolivia has expressed its "concern and outrage" because the acts of sexual violence, infanticide and feminicide are "justified with messages of hate, machismo, racism, homophobia and anti-rights discourses" that point to the victims as guilty.

The agency recalled that a report released in November by the Economic Commission for Latin America (ECLAC) shows Bolivia as the South American country with the highest prevalence of feminicide followed by Paraguay, "with rates of 2.0 and 1, 6 per 100,000 women ", respectively.

"This phenomenon is increasing due to the high levels of impunity, the naturalization of violence and the justification for it," says UN Women.

Feminist organizations will be attentive to the proposals on women's demands presented by candidates for the 2019 general elections in Bolivia, concluded Novillo.


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