Femicide, a national problem that could spread to the Yucatan

Eighteen year-old Martha Eugenia Martinez Avila was murdered  in the municipality of Conkal, a Mérida suburb, on Thursday December 17th.

This crime comes on the heels of other homicides and assaults perpetrated against women recently in the state of Yucatan. The Yucatecan society is highly concerned about this situation and demands the competent authorities be alert and take the precautionary and safety measures necessary to stop this series of crimes.

The murdered girl went by the name of Martha Eugenia Martinez Avila, had a Facebook profile under the name of Martha Avila, with 4,151 friends, and she was a third semester student of business administration at CONALEP.

Her body was found naked and showing signs of violence at the 3.4 km of the Conkal-Chicxulub Puerto road. Apparently the young woman was assaulted, raped and then strangled.

Seventy-six cases of femicide have been commited from 2008 to 2015 in the state of Yucatan.

According to the local authorities, there are three suspects in this murder, and homicide police agents are working on the case right now, but will not reveal further details in order not to interfere with the investigation.

Martha Eugenia Martinez Avila (Facebook)


Meanwhile, Nancy del Rosario Pech Balam, 34, drowned under unclear circumstances, and her body was found on the same day as Martha’s.

Nancy’s body was detected floating not too far from the shore in the coastal town of Chelem by her brother, who immediately called the local police. Even though it is presumed that the cause of death was drowning, the woman’s face showed a bruise under the eye. Therefore, authorities have started an investigation to determine if the woman was murdered and then thrown into the ocean.

There is another version that says Nancy had a stroke while swimming in the ocean.

Nancy Pech Balam (Photo: Formal Prision)
Nancy Pech Balam (Photo: Formal Prision)

The National Observatory of Femicide, an organization that monitors, gathers and analyzes information about the justice system and access to justice for victims of gender violence, says these crimes are motivated by misogyny and involve multiple social and cultural elements.

The growing violence across the country, aggravated by the economic crisis, has had a direct impact on violence against women, which has alarmingly increased nationwide during recent years, and it could spread to the Yucatan if the state government does not take the pertinent measures.

Femicide is a social evil that we cannot allow to grow in our state. We cannot blame the victims for the way they dress or act. It is evident that we still live in a sexist society, with a lack of moral vision that immensely harms individuals and shows absolutely no respect for basic human rights.

In the neighboring state of Quintana Roo, the number of feminicides has increased significantly, there have been social protests for this situation, and the authorities are minimizing the problem. This must be an alert for Yucatan.

We must demand attention and action from our authorities, because a femicide is not just any crime, but murder fueled by hatred, machismo and social discrimination, as well as false moralism against women.

TYT Newsroom



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