Elderly Maya indigenous women, the most affected by gender violence in Yucatan

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Mérida, Yucatán.- According to research carried out by scholars in Yucatán, it has been identified that elderly Mayan women are part of a high number of victims of domestic violence, but their numbers are not reflected because they do not file any formal complaints.

Adelaida Salas Salazar, representative of the Observatorio Ciudadano Nacional del Feminicidio in Yucatán, mentioned that there are several cases of women who have been raped across the state, mostly by their own partners, but they do not file a complaint and do not report the hospital centers where they are treated.

“For example, when the women are taken to the hospital, the hospitals do not report their cases as attempted femicides or ask them if they want to file a complaint, but if they say no, they do nothing more and they return home to continue suffering the same violence,” she said.

Adelaida indicated that the National Citizen Observatory of Feminicide in Yucatán has data on at least seven cases of Maya indigenous women who in 2020 were victims of attempted femicide, and this year there are already three cases detected by this organization.

The doctor and academic, Gina Villagómez mentioned that together with the academic Ligia Vera they have identified that women from rural Maya communities are subject to domestic violence and so far there is no particular prevention strategy for them.

Similarly, the activists recalled that femicides are only “the tip of the iceberg” involving gender violence.

In this context, they recalled that gender violence in Mexico has increased by 7% in 2021.

In addition, the number of femicides has been constantly increasing in Yucatan, since in 2019 there were four cases; in 2020, there were 12 and so far in 2021 there are already eight.

On the other hand, there are 27 women who have been murdered in Yucatan this year and there are another 26 suicides, but some of these cases are in doubt whether they could fall into the category of femicide.

“The biggest problem for Yucatan continues to be the issue of domestic violence, in rural Maya communities as well, where there are no institutional services and women are at risk and they live in a vulnerable situation,” she commented.

The activists mentioned that femicide is the extreme form of a series of violence defined as structural violence and lack of access to public policies.

In Yucatan, the majority of femicides are committed by partners, ex-partners, and people known to the victim.

In addition, the state ranks seventh nationally in terms of domestic violence.

The Yucatan Times
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