Mexican activists are collecting signatures to declare October 24 Dia de Muertas to bring awareness to the three thousand femicides occurring every year.
The first day of the weeklong Day of the Dead celebrations, human rights organizations hope the new commemorative day will draw international attention to the impunity surrounding the rising number of gender-based crimes.
In an online call to action on the organization’s site, www.diademuertas.mx, organizers said: “In Mexico, every year from October 25 to November 2 is celebrated the Day of the Dead. There is a day for each cause of death but until now none of them expressly dignified women who are killed by the mere fact of being so.”
Although October 28 is generally reserved for victims of violent death, movement leaders believe that there should be a day set aside specifically for this cause to underline the level of desperation which is “doubly unjust, cruel, and meaningless.”
Between 2007 and 2016 more than 22,450 femicides with young women dying every four hours by violent means, the National Institute of Statistics and Geography reports.
“Mexico and the World can no longer afford the levels of violence against women. In Mexico, Femicide is an endemic scourge in some regions and states, with figures unparalleled in other countries of the world,” the call to action read, adding that victims are persecuted without regard to religion, political leanings, or beliefs.
“They are murdered just for being a woman. Therefore, we ask for your participation and involvement as a human being, whether you are a man or a woman, whatever your ideology, religion or social condition,” Dia de Muertas organizers said.
Using the hashtag #MejorVivasQueCatrinas and #8M, activists encouraged supporters to wear purple, the color associated with gender violence prevention, to paint the streets and their lips in violet and leave their lipsticks on the ofrendas (memorials), to remember the thousands of femicides executed annually.
"We do not want to change the way we remember our loved ones, we respect our beautiful customs, but we can not allow the death of thousands of people... This just fight is not only for women, but for all of us,” the statement said.