From January to May there have been 423 murders of women in Mexico, and the president, López Obrador, acknowledges that "there has been an increase in femicides, unfortunately, and in domestic violence"

Mexico: femicides increase by 7.1% in the first months of 2021

REUTERS/LUIS CORTES - A Mexican Army soldier and police officers guard a crime scene

On Monday, 28 June, during the conference of the president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the secretary of Public Security, Rosa Icela Rodríguez, announced that, in the first months of 2021, feminicides increased by 7.1% compared to the same period of the previous year.

Icela Rodríguez presented the Public Security figures on femicides, which show an increase compared to the May report published by the Executive Secretariat, including 11 more women murdered. According to the data, from January to May, 423 feminicides have been committed in Mexico. 

In addition, she stressed that eight Mexican states account for 57% of the total number of femicides. "Eight states have high rates per 100,000 inhabitants: Morelos, Sonora, Quintana Roo, Colima, Jalisco, Sinaloa, San Luis Potosí and Chiapas," she said during the press conference.

Manifestación feminista
Government plan

The Secretary of Public Security outlined the actions taken by the Mexican authorities to reduce or eliminate femicides and gender violence in the country. 

Icela Rodríguez explained that, in entities such as Mexico City, every homicide, whose victim is a woman, is investigated, from the beginning, as a feminicide. "In the government of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, we are committed to properly classifying feminicides, regardless of whether this means an increase in the statistics," she said. 

She also announced the creation of a gender cabinet to advance the agenda of women's rights and that 100 members of the National Guard will help state prosecutors who have specialised in gender violence and feminicide. 

In relation to this, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador accepted that "there has been an increase in femicides, unfortunately, and in domestic violence".

Olga Sánchez, Secretary of the Interior, highlighted the creation of the institutional group against violence. "We work every day to address the dynamics of violence against women through care and prevention strategies," she explained, emphasising the joint work of "the three levels of government" to try to put an end to the "enormous" violence against women.

El presidente de México, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, da una conferencia de prensa en el Palacio Nacional en la Ciudad de México
Rape up 30% compared to 2020

So far, the measures taken by the authorities have not managed to reduce the number of women murdered in Mexico, which stands at around 10 murders per day, according to El País. The situation caused by the pandemic has led to an increase in cases of violence against women and children. The isolation resulting from the COVID-19 health crisis has increased the number of cases. "Governments forgot the gender perspective and left women locked up with their aggressors," says Wendy Figueroa, director of the National Shelter Network of Mexico.

Throughout 2020, the crime rate decreased by 10% in the country, however, sexual crimes increased, reaching 948 femicides and 54,314 reports of crimes against freedom. So far in 2021, the numbers are no more encouraging, with an increase in murders of women and sexual assaults. The number of registered rapes is 6,610 in 2020 and in the first six months of 2021 it has reached 8,623, an increase of 30% over the same period last year, according to figures from the Executive Secretariat of the National Public Security System.

The statistics and data collected only correspond to cases where a complaint has been filed, and considering that, in Mexico, around 90% of crimes are not reported, the reality of the data is much greater. Figueroa calls on the government to improve prevention systems to protect victims. "There is no place in Mexico that is safe for women now, not the street, not social networks, not the home," she said.

Latin America Coordinator: José Antonio Sierra.