Mothers of femicide victims symbolically take over offices of the State Commission of Human Rights (CEDH) in Chiapas

By Isaín Mandujano

In the State Center for Human Rights, the Network of Women of Víctims of Femicide demands the intervention of the National Center for Human Rights. Photo: Especial: Isaín Mandujano

Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas. Mothers of victims of femicide symbolically take over the State Commission of Human Rights, in order to back the protest actions of different collectives of women in Mexico City and other states in the country

The mothers, sisters, children and aunts of murdered women in Chiapas, connected in this network took the action in order to denounce the inaction of human rights organizations in Chiapas and throughout the country, which, they emphasized, makes them complicit in the femicids and the impunity that prevails in the judicial system. 

“Femicide doesn’t only kill the woman, but the entire family. And the omissions of the authorities will continue to kill  other women,” blurted Helena Morales Jímenez, the daughter of Maria de Los Remedios Jímenez and sister of María Virginia Morales Jiménez, both victims of femicide on July 1st, 2013. 

Today (the 20th of September) the Network of Families of Victims of Femicide in Chiapas, headed by activists Paulina Conde and Sele Domínguez, demanded the firm and decided intervention of the National Commission of Human Rights (CNDH), to help clarify all the documented femicides in the state of Chiapas, applying the protocols and international treaties that Mexico has signed for this purpose.

“We ask that the State Commission on Human Rights cease to be a wingman for the state and national authorities. That the State Attorney General’s Office and the Judicial Power resolve the pending cases of femicide and that the femicides be stopped,” said Helena Morales Jiménez.

Protest at the State Commission of Human Rights Photo: Especial/Isaín Mandujano

Upon reading the declaration of the network, she stated that the authorities in charge of seeking and ensuring justice had failed all of the families. “They fail in the lack of due diligence in the incorporation of the investigation file, they fail in the investigation, they fail in the correct gathering of evidence, they fail in the technical relief of the hearings, and they fail for not applying the protocols that allow for the identification of the context of the violence against our daughters, mothers, and sisters lived, and because of that, not only is access to truth and justice for the victims impeded, but it allows the unleashing of femicide and all that that entails,” the young woman added..

She explained that it is onerous to take legal action, only to be left in a state of defenselessness, “to the families that are survivors of the deaths of our daughters, mothers, women, and that authorities leave us without protection or justice.”

The invisibilization of the femicides by the State Attorney General’s Office is evident, she underscored –  in the labeling as homicides or suicides some of the violent deaths, as occurred in the case of Miryana Ivette Saldaña Sastillo, in February of 2019; Dayra Ximena Cortez Antonio, en March of 2019, and Alejandra Guillermina Berriolpe Orozco, two months later.

In those cases, as in many others, she maintained, the Latinamerican Protocol for the Investigation of Violent Deaths of Women for Gender Reasons/Femicides were not applied in order to analyze the context of the consequences of previous violence suffered by the women. 

She also indicated that many times suicides are a usual form of hiding a homicide on the part of its perpetrator, and the governors, disguise femicides with the intent to minimize the numbers, “but we have other data.”

“We are a group of mothers, fathers, daughters, sons, sisters, family and friends of women and girls that have been murdered, who walk hand in hand with feminist activists and defenders of human rights, and we arrive at these facilities in protest against the negligence and the omission of the authorities to our petitions, the invisibilization of the femicidal violence and the lack of action and intervention of the state and national commissions of human rights,” read Helena Morales Jiménez.

The Network, she said backs the occupation of the offices of the National Center for Human Rights in Mexico City, together with all the actions in the different states of the Republic, and condemned “the repression suffered by our compañeras de Ecatepec1,” State of México.

In addition, she demanded the resignation of the head of the CNDH, Rosario Piedra, and of the Chiapas ombudsman, Juan José Zepeda Bermídez, who, they emphasized have demonstrated a complete lack of knowledge in the defense of human rights of women and girls of Mexico and of Chiapas.

This article was originally published in Spanish in Proceso on September 16th, 2020. This English interpretation has been re-published by Schools for Chiapas.

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  1. Ecatepec de Morelos, a suburb of Mexico City, has seen thousands of femicides, many of them would be classified as hate crimes were any laws to exist.
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