Ar­gen­ti­ni­an ac­ti­vists pin bla­me on ma­chis­mo as at­tacks on wo­men ri­se

Times of Suriname - - ENGELS -

ARGENTINA - On the af­ter­noon of 19 Oc­to­ber, Clau­dia Ari­as and her aunt Susa­na Or­tiz ma­de their way to the cen­tre of Men­do­za, whe­re they joi­ned a crowd of thou­sands who had gat­he­red to pro­test against a wa­ve of vi­o­lent at­tacks on wo­men in Argentina.

It was one of half a do­zen de­mon­stra­ti­ons across the coun­try, or­ga­ni­zed on so­ci­al me­dia by a loo­se col­lec­ti­ve of ac­ti­vists and jour­na­lists af­ter the ra­pe and mur­der of a 16-year old school­girl, Lucía Pé­rez, in the coas­tal ci­ty of Mar del Pla­ta. Their mes­sa­ge was #NiU­naMe­nos, which li­ter­al­ly trans­la­tes as “not one less”, but sig­ni­fies “not one mo­re wo­man” lost to vi­o­len­ce, of­ten com­mit­ted by vic­tims’ hus­bands, part­ners or clo­se friends. Four days af­ter Ari­as and Or­tiz pro­tested in Men­do­za, they we­re stab­bed to de­ath at their ho­me along with Ari­as’s 90-year old grand­mo­ther, Vi­cen­ta Díaz. Po­li­ce ar­re­sted Ari­as’s ex-part­ner, Da­niel Za­la­zar, a 30-year-old tae­kwon­do in­struc­tor. Pro­se­cu­tors say he mur­de­red the wo­men af­ter an ar­gu­ment over the pa­ter­ni­ty of Ari­as’s se­ven­month-old daugh­ter, Mia. Za­la­zar al­so al­le­gedly stab­bed the ba­by and Ari­as’s 11-year-old son, Lu­cas, both of whom remain in cri­ti­cal con­di­ti­on at a Men­do­za hos­pi­tal. Ari­as’s youn­ger son, Bau­ti­s­ta, ma­na­ged to es­ca­pe from the hou­se and hid in the boot of a car with his dog, Co­co, po­li­ce said on Wed­nes­day. Of­fi­cers said it took the eight-year-old se­ve­r­al hours to re­o­pen the boot from the in­si­de and then call the po­li­ce. Za­la­zar was held af­ter showing up at a ne­ar­by hos­pi­tal as­king to be tre­a­ted for wounds he clai­med he had sustai­ned in a hol­dup at­tempt. He is fa­cing char­ges of mur­der and “gen­der vi­o­len­ce”.

Se­ven out of the top 10 coun­tries for fe­ma­le mur­der ra­tes are in La­tin Ame­ri­ca. And alt­hough Argentina does not head the list, al­most dai­ly re­ports of ma­le vi­o­len­ce against wo­men ha­ve pro­vo­ked deep soul-searching in the coun­try. Four ye­ars ago, con­gress pas­sed a law de­fi­ning do­mestic vi­o­len­ce, gen­der-ba­sed kil­lings and other ca­te­go­ries of ha­te cri­mes against wo­men as “fe­mi­ci­de”. But ac­ti­vists ar­gue that Argentina needs to chan­ge mo­re than its le­gis­la­ti­on. (Reu­ters.com)

A sign with the mes­sa­ge #NiU­naMe­nos is shown du­ring the pro­test in Bue­nos Ai­res. (Photo: Getty Images)

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