Wave Of Femicide Surges Across Mexico, Killing 6 Women Per Day

This Terrible Trend In Mexico Claims The Lives Of 6 Women Per Day
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While organized crime continues its rampage in Mexico, most recently with the disappearance and presumed deaths of 43 students outside of the small town of Iguala, another violent trend has grabbed hold of the troubled state.

According to the National Citizen Femicide Observatory, six women are killed every day in Mexico, and the number is on the rise. Female bodies are often found badly mutilated, with particular attention paid to sexual organs and breasts, and dumped among garbage and waste.

Andalusia Knoll, a freelance journalist who is currently reporting on violence against women in Guerrero, Mexico, joined HuffPost Live on Wednesday to speak out on the crimes.

“The majority of femicide cases in Mexico … [the victims] are killed often by their boyfriends, by their father-in-laws, by their ex-husbands or by their husbands,” Knoll told host Alyona Minkovski.

But the perpetrators are rarely prosecuted. From 2012 to 2013, only 24 percent of femicides were investigated, and just 1.6 percent of cases actually led to an arrest and sentencing.

“There is a total level of impunity,” Knoll said. “Other men know that they can kill women and nothing will happen to them.”

Although legislation to protect women from violence and discrimination was passed in 2007, systems of recourse for the crimes remain ineffective.

“Women are often just seen as just objects without rights,” Knoll said. “And when they denounce the violence, often they have no way to escape these violent situations, and there is not really a network of help.”

Watch the full conversation about the cycles of violence in Mexico here.

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Before You Go

1
Avoids talking about Mexico's security problems.
ASSOCIATED PRESS
For the first year and a half of his term, Peña Nieto studiously avoided or played down the subject of public security in a country that has lost more than 100,000 lives to the U.S.-backed drug war, according to Reuters.

Meanwhile, a Pew poll from earlier this year shows that crime is the most common concern among Mexicans, with 79 percent of respondents saying it’s a “very big problem.”
2
Refused to admit any wrongdoing when he sent Federal Police to break up a protest in 2006, leading to two deaths and the alleged sexual abuse of 26 women.
RONALDO SCHEMIDT via Getty Images
When pressed by students on the issue, he refused to back down and later claimed that his opponents in the audience weren't students, but rather paid agitators. A video of 131 of the attendees brandishing their student ID cards went viral, starting the #YoSoy132 movement.
3
Passed an energy reform that Mexicans opposed.
ASSOCIATED PRESS
Foreign governments and multinationals applauded the opening of the national petroleum monopoly, but polls show that most Mexicans didn’t.

Image: A protester holds a banner reading "Pemex is not for sale," referring to the state oil company.
4
Posed for that ridiculous Time Magazine cover.
Almost a year later, it looks like Time was a little premature in claiming Peña Nieto is “saving Mexico.”
5
Didn’t know what the minimum wage was in his country.
Scott Nodine via Getty Images
The question from an El País reporter left him stumped.
6
Says he’s not the woman of the house.
Erik Dreyer via Getty Images
He also didn’t know the price of corn tortillas, one of Mexico’s staple foods. In his defense, he said: “I’m not the housewife.”
7
Couldn’t remember the titles of three books he’s read.
Michaela Begsteiger via Getty Images
He goofed that question at the Guadalajara International Book Fair in 2011. He did remember at least one title, but got the author wrong.
8
Waited 10 days to launch an investigation into the attack on the students in Iguala, in which six people were killed and 43 students abducted.
ALFREDO ESTRELLA via Getty Images
The tragedy became a huge national scandal and eyewitnesses said police carried out the attack. What took so long to launch a federal investigation?

Image: Members of the Civil Organizations attend a prayer vigil at the Hemiciclo a Juarez Monument in Mexico City on December 16, 2014 for the 43 students missing since September 26 in Iguala, Guerrero state. (ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP/Getty Images)
9
Maybe it’s because he hired a terrible attorney general.
Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam tried to close the Nov. 7 press conference at which he said the 43 missing students had been handed over to cartels and killed with the words "ya me cansé" -- Spanish for "I'm tired out."

That's a poor phrase to describe your feelings of explaining the whereabouts of 43 missing people. His words became a rallying cry for protesters and a trending topic on Twitter for 26 days.
10
And they’ve presided over an investigation into the disappearance of the 43 students that is either incompetent or evil.
ASSOCIATED PRESS
It’s hard to tell which. It may be both.

Relatives of the 43 missing students from the Isidro Burgos rural teachers college, hold several posters with the images of their missing loved ones during a press conference in Mexico City, Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)
11
Then Peña Nieto defended his administration’s work.
ASSOCIATED PRESS
No one disputes that local police were involved in the attack on the students. Over the weekend, an investigative report published in Proceso said that the Federal Police were also involved, with the knowledge of the military, and that authorities had tortured key witnesses in the case. All but one of the bodies have yet to be identified.

And yet Peña Nieto says he's proud of his administration's work on the case.
12
Created a new security plan for the state of Guerrero that was basically the same as the old one.
ASSOCIATED PRESS
So don’t expect new ideas or new results.
13
Skipped town after the attorney general announced the government’s version of what happened to the 43 students.
ASSOCIATED PRESS
The attorney general’s announcement on Nov. 7 that local police had handed the 43 students over to the Guerreros Unidos drug cartel, who incinerated the corpses, sparked nationwide protests. Rather than stick around attend to perhaps the greatest crisis of his presidency so far, he traveled to China for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit.
14
Presided over a military that appears to have massacred 21 people.
Bloomberg via Getty Images
Many in Mexico suspect the federal government has not been honest with the public about the events at Tlatlaya in June of this year.
15
Cares more about his international image than his national tragedies
ASSOCIATED PRESS
At last that’s the impression given by his administration’s public relations strategy that was leaked to La Jornada.
16
Presides over a plummeting peso.
Lyle Leduc via Getty Images
Good job, Mr. Global Economy.
17
And increasing threats against journalists.
ASSOCIATED PRESS
Mexican NGO Artículo 19 documented 151 attacks on freedom of expression over the first half of 2013, Peña Nieto’s first year in office. The figure marks a 46 percent jump over the same period the previous year, according to the Council on Hemispheric Affairs.

Journalists protest to demand the return of kidnapped police beat journalist Gregorio Jimenez, in Xalapa, Mexico, Sunday, Feb. 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Felix Marquez)
18
Presides over rising disappearances and abductions.
ASSOCIATED PRESS
Mexico had already set a record for disappearances in 2014 two months before the year was over, with the government documenting than 5,000 cases. The preceding year, Peña Nieto's first year in office, had set a record as well.
19
Still hasn’t bothered going to Iguala, where the students were attacked and 43 were abducted, or to Ayotzinapa where they were studying.
ALFREDO ESTRELLA via Getty Images
It’s been more than three months. The only rational conclusion is that one of the most pressing national issues for Mexico is not such a priority for Peña Nieto. He almost went earlier this month because he planned to be in the state of Guerrero anyways, but then decided against it.

Image: (L-R, bottom row) David Flores, student from Ayotzinapa, Felipe de la Cruz, father of one of 43 missing students, Vidulfo Rosales, member of the Human Rights Center Tlachinollan, Mario Gonzalez, father of one of 43 missing students, and Santiago Aguirre, member of the Human Righs Center Miguel Agustin Pro Juarez, take part in a press conference in Mexico City on December 16, 2014. (AFP)
20
When he went to Guerrero, the state where Iguala is located, he asked people to “overcome the pain” of the tragedy
PEDRO PARDO via Getty Images
Those words might sound inspiring if he’d bothering visiting the town where the attack took place. Instead it sounded like he was telling people to get over it.
21
Didn’t “show his face,” but said he did.
ASSOCIATED PRESS
During a speech on his visit to Acapulco, Guerrero, on Dec. 4, Peña Nieto said the tragedy of the students “obligated the government of the republic to come here, to show it’s face to the people of Guerrero.”

Peña Nieto, however, wasn’t showing his face to the families of the victims or the residents of the city where the attack took place -- he was in Acapulco giving a speech aimed in part at promoting tourism.
22
Acquired a $7 million house under his wife’s name from a construction company in what looked to many like a conflict of interest.
ASSOCIATED PRESS
The company, Immobiliaria del Centro, was tied to a consortium that won a state contract to build a high-speed railway. Peña Nieto denies any wrongdoing, but canceled the contract days before Aristegui Noticias ran the story.
23
A lot of Mexicans think he’s stupid.
AP
A Facebook fan page called “I also think Enrique Peña Nieto is stupid” has nearly 65,000 likes.
24
Sluggish economic growth.
Bloomberg via Getty Images
Peña Nieto took the presidency promising an economic growth rate of 3.7 percent for 2013, according to Excelsior columnist Viridiana Rios. Instead, he and the PRI delivered just 1.1 percent. He’s behind target again this year.
25
Not enough jobs for young people.
YURI CORTEZ via Getty Images
Peña Nieto has tauted his government’s record on job creation, but it's still creating nearly 70,000 fewer than the 100,000 jobs needed every month to accommodate the entrance of young people into the labor market, according to Rios.
26
Not even The Economist likes him.
ASSOCIATED PRESS
Which doesn’t look good if you’re trying to make yourself out to be a forward-looking economic thinker.
27
Isn’t delivering on his promises.
ASSOCIATED PRESS
Peña Nieto came into office with a total of 266 campaign promises. At the start of this year, he’d only completed 13, according to Mexican news agency Sin Embargo. At this rate, Sin Embargo calculates that he’d have to govern for more than 40 years to deliver.

Image: A supporter of presidential candidate Enrique Pena Nieto of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), holds a sign that reads in Spanish: "Pena, God bless you and God willing, you will be president, but don't forget the people and your promises. I bless you," at his closing campaign rally in Toluca, Mexico, Wednesday, June 27, 2012. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)
28
Hair is too shiny.
RODRIGO ARANGUA via Getty Images
Put less gel in there, Mr. President. We can’t see.
29
Fudged crime stats to make himself look better when he was governor of Mexico state.
ASSOCIATED PRESS
30
May have paid Televisa to give him positive coverage when he was governor of Mexico state.
RONALDO SCHEMIDT via Getty Images
U.S. officials suspected it, and the Guardian reported it, though Televisa denies the allegations.
31
Hid in the bathroom for 10 minutes to avoid facing student protesters.
ASSOCIATED PRESS
32
Had two kids out of wedlock while he was married to his first wife.
ASSOCIATED PRESS
Check out the strong moral fiber on Peña Nieto.

Image: Enrique Pena Nieto, candidate of the Institutional Revolutionary Party(PRI) for governor of the state of Mexico and his first wife, Monica Pretelini de Pena on Sunday July 3, 2005.(AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills)
33
Neglectful father.
ASSOCIATED PRESS
One of the mothers of one of his children, Maritza Díaz Hernández, said on Facebook in 2012 that Peña Nieto rarely spent time with his child.
34
He’s nicknamed the ‘male barbie.’
Cyrus McCrimmon via Getty Images
Gross.
35
Doesn't inspire confidence.
YURI CORTEZ via Getty Images
Demonstrators have repeatedly taken to the streets calling for him to step down.
36
It’s really hard to get rid of him.
RODRIGO ARANGUA via Getty Images
Despite his lack of popularity, he's got too many of his PRI colleagues in Congress to get impeached, according to Economist Intelligence Unit Editor Rodrigo Aguilera. For him to leave Mexico's presidency early, he'll probably have to resign.

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