Photo: Violence against Women in Mexico
Amnesty International on Thursday denounced the impunity that prevails amid the growing violence and discrimination against women in Mexico.
In a report presented to the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, AI said that Mexican authorities do not protect the victims of sexual violence or guarantee that those responsible for the abuse will be brought to justice.
“In the past years, Mexico has approved a number of laws and institutions designed to protect women from discrimination and violence. Much of the problem, however, lies in the lack of effective implementation of these laws and the weakness of the institutions,” AI researcher Rupert Knox said.
So, AI is asking both the outgoing administration of President Felipe Calderon and the government that will take office in December for a greater commitment in protecting the rights of women and putting an end to the abuses and murders that, between 1985 and 2009, numbered 34,000 and have been rising in recent years.
Although the number of men murdered in Mexico is much greater, AI said that the violence against women is generally more cruel and is often linked to sexual attacks.
Mexican prosecutors in 2009 received almost 15,000 complaints of rape, although AI calculates that in reality there were about 74,000 sexual assaults, as only a relatively small percentage of such crimes are reported.
Of the cases brought to court, just 2,795 ended up with a conviction, AI said.
The impunity that prevails for many of these crimes has motivated many women to launch campaigns to protect their rights, although often this very act makes them the target of violence.
Female human rights activists are the victims of more and more attacks due to their work against gender violence and for throwing light on human rights violations in Mexico, AI said.
The organization also discussed the situation of illegal immigrants from Central America who cross through Mexico to try and get to the United States, saying that they, too, are the regular victims of these crimes and that they suffer from a substantial lack of protection from the authorities.
As AI said in its report, the National Commission on Human Rights determined in 2011 that some 11,000 foreign migrants had been kidnapped during one six-month period while other academic studies found that six of every 10 women become the victims of sexual attacks.