Family, friends and other supporters flocked Tuesday to bid farewell to Argentina's latest femicide victim, 21-year old Micaela Garcia, a Ni Una Menos activist, vocal against femicides whose body was found Saturday in a rural field in Gualeguay.
While the procession began with family and friends Tuesday morning, the ceremony will be later open to the public, with the day-long memorial activities culminating in a march to the Plaza de Mayo in Bueno Aires. The burial of her body will take place in between at the Cementerio de Concepcion del Uruguay in Entre Rios.
Garcia, who was an activist against sexist violence, had been missing for a week after she attended a nightclub in Gualeguay. Her naked body was found Saturday morning. Experts reported she was strangled to death the same day she disappeared.
Her suspected killer, Sebastian Wagner, arrested Saturday, is a serial rapist with previous charges of rape against him. While his original sentencing was to be imprisoned for those instances of rape until at least 2020 after being convicted in 2010, a judge had reduced his sentence. As such, the target of the protests this weekend in Moreno was also Judge Carlos Rossi, who was responsible for releasing Wagner early.
"Here are two people responsible: the murderer of Micaela and a judge who released him despite being advised against doing so,” said Fabiana Tuñez, the president of the National Women's Council, at the time.
Officials are also looking into ousting Rossi, who was even challenged by President Mauricio Macri.
“Unfortunately, taking these kinds of decisions in an unscrupulous way and without looking at the victims, nor the context, leads us to this kind of tragedy," said Minister of Justice German Garavano, adding that he was in favor of removing the judge from his post.
Several provincial deputies will be working to call for the removal of the judge.
Outrage shook the country following Garcia’s killing, with several marches being organized throughout the country since her body was found.
According to Casa del Encuentro, almost 3,000 women have been killed in Argentina since 2008, when the organization started to monitor femicides. Despite the inclusion of "femicide" in the criminal code in 2012, only one man has been sentenced for femicide charges since then.
The movement against femicide saw a resurgence in Argentina last year, sparking a wider uprising across the region against gender violence and the systemic impunity enjoyed by the perpetrators of femicide and domestic abuse.