Central America: women protest rise in femicides

Central America is said to have the highest rate of femicides—misogynist murders—in Latin America, and many women’s rights organizations marked International Women’s Day on March 8 with street protests demanding that the region’s governments take measures to stop the killings.

In Nicaragua, hundreds of women participated in a cultural event in which they defended their right to live free of violence and called for more opportunities to win public offices. Elections for the presidency and the National Assembly are scheduled for Nov. 6. Various Salvadoran organizations demonstrated in El Salvador in favor of a gender equality law that would guarantee the dignity of women.

Dozens of Honduran women demonstrated on March 7, the day before International Women’s Day, carrying candles in memory of murdered women and charging that “the crimes remain in the most absolute impunity.” The conservative government’s National Human Rights Commission (Conadeh) reported that the number of violent deaths continues to rise, reaching 343 in 2010, with at least 60 so far this year.

In Guatemala thousands of women marched through Guatemala City’s historic center to demand greater political participation and an end to impunity for violence against women. According to human rights organizations, there are an average of two murders of women every day in Guatemala, with at least 700 in 2010. (AFP, March 8, via Terra, Peru)

From Weekly News Update on the Americas, March 13.

See our last post on Central America.