Following the "wolf pack" rape trial, which caused widespread outrage in Spain last month, a hashtag campaign has been started to call attention to the high levels of violence faced by women. The hashtag #Cuéntalo, which loosely translates into "tell your story," has seen women in Spain and more recently in Latin America use Twitter to denounce the high levels gender violence plaguing their countries and their lives.
The online campaign, which started in April, has moved from Spain across the Atlantic to Argentina and Colombia and is quickly gaining traction in other Latin American countries.
According to the Argentine newspaper, Clarín, over 430,000 tweets including the #Cuéntalo were posted in a single day.
"#Cuentalo is tearing my soul into a thousand pieces ... Each story tells me we must carry on fighting for women," Paula Andrea, a Colombian model tweeted.
#cuéntalo I was 7 yrs old when a family member decided it was fine to rape me for 3 years straight. It took 7 yrs, a letter, and the will of god to imprison him. My name is Alhondra Espindola, I’m lucky to be here and be one of the 3% that get to see their offender locked up. pic.twitter.com/4aElDSP8jN— alo e. (@alhondraa1) May 2, 2018
"One night my ex-husband wanted to have sex when I didn’t. To avoid being raped, I locked myself out on the balcony and spent the whole night there without my kids noticing," tweeted Ana Alonso Ferrer from Cuenca, Ecuador’s third largest city.
"We must tell of the aggressions, the violations, compañeras," journalist Cristina Fallarás tweeted, urging her followers to speak out over sexual violence using the hashtag #Cuéntalo.
Karla Hernández, a politician in El Salvador campaigning against femicide, used the hashtag to highlight the case of a female police officer believed to have been shot and disappeared by fellow officers last December.
"My family are still waiting. They don’t know if I’m dead or alive," Hernandez wrote, adding: "I’m telling you because Carla Ayala can’t."
The online campaign comes after the wildly popular hashtag movements, 'Yo Tambien' (Me too) and 'Ni Una Menos' (Not One Less).
Erika Guevara-Rosas, Amnesty International’s Americas director, told the Guardian,
“Online and offline, people are mobilizing,” she said. "Latin America and the Caribbean remains one of the most violent regions with regards to girls and women’s rights in general. Fourteen of the 25 countries with the highest rates of femicide are here in the region including countries such as Mexico, which tops the list, Central American countries like Nicaragua, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, and Argentina and Brazil. It is something that is endemic."
Ana Lara Vargas, a human rights lawyer and activist from the Mexican state of Hidalgo, reflected on the death Jessica González Mandujano, a 31-year-old mother of three, who was killed by her abusive husband. “I’m telling the story since Jessica is gone,” she wrote.
Vargas said she hoped #Cuéntalo would both highlight widespread violence and boost her campaign to secure justice for Mandujano, one of 19 cases of femicide in Hidalgo in 2014.
According to the UN's Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, nearly 12 Latin American women are victims of femicide every day.