Femicide is a pandemic in Mexico. It’s time we addressed it.
The #SiMeMatan (#IfTheyMurderMe) hashtag has exploded in an effort to denounce the systemic gender violence in Mexico after a young woman, Lesby Osorio, was murdered Wednesday night on the Universidad Autonoma de Mexico campus in Mexico City — and, once again, Mexican officials and the media began blaming the victim.
These tweets have since been deleted but were originally sent from the Mexico City Public Prosecutor’s office, blaming Ms. Osorio’s lifestyle for her murder.
Here’s a translation of what the tweets said:
“She was an alcoholic and a bad student.”
“She had left home and was living with her boyfriend.”
“She had been taking drugs with friends.”
This wasn’t the first time authorities have engaged in victim-blaming instead of dedicating their time to finding out who’s responsible for the murders of women. In response, thousands of women in Mexico began sharing what they would say if they were murdered, many hoping that the details of their personal lives wouldn’t be used against them in death.
#Simematan dirán que fue porque: salí con mi novio, sola, de noche, con vestido, con tacones, me pinté las uñas, bebí, fumé, FUI MUJER.
— Yalí Noriega (@Xalaila) May 4, 2017
#IfTheyMurderMe, tell them it was because I went out with my boyfriend, alone, at night, with a dress, heels, I painted my nails, I drank, smoked, and WAS A WOMAN.
#SiMeMatan ojalá la policía (y los medios) se enfoquen en mi asesino y no en mi ropa, mis estudios, mi trabajo o con quién me acuesto.
— Paola Villarreal (@paw) May 5, 2017
#IfTheyMurderMe, I hope the police (and the media) focus on my murder and not on my clothes, my studies, my job or with who I sleep with.
#SiMeMatan fue por ser reportera mexicana. Por meterme donde no me importa. Por escribir de masacres y subversión. Por no dejarme callar.
— Laura Castellanos Mx (@lcastellanosmx) May 5, 2017
#IfTheyMurderMe it was because I am a female Mexican reporter. For not caring what I get myself into. For writing about murders and subversion. For never shutting up.
#SiMeMatan sepan que a mi igual me gusta tomar, llevo varios años en terapia y tomando antidepresivos, me salí de casa sin casarme.
— rous (@rousrous) May 4, 2017
#IfTheyMurderMe know that I like to drink, have been in therapy for many years and take antidepressants, and left the house without getting married.
Femicide is a pandemic in Mexico, with an average of 6 women assassinated daily and less than 2 percent of the perpetrators brought to justice, according to the National Citizen Femicide Observatory. Violence against women is a widespread problem; 63 percent of Mexican women over 15 have experienced some form of gender violence, which could include physical, sexual, emotional or psychological violence, according to the Inegi Institute.
Protests at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico campus, where Osorio was murdered, also took place today.
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