Thousands of women in Argentina participated in mass demonstrations against the staggering number of femicides in their country and throughout the continent.
The third edition of the #NiUnaMenos protests took place on Saturday, only one day after Ana Rosa Barrera, a 46-year-old Argentine woman, was found dead in the city of Alta Gracia. La Nacion newspaper reported that her partner, Marcelo Ferrarretto, confessed to the murder.
The main demonstrations occurred in Buenos Aires at Congress Square at 4 p.m. local time. The march is scheduled to carry on to May Square.
Debo confesar que sentí mucho orgullo como mujer argentina y como madre. Ustedes saben que mi hija es una militante feminista…— Cristina Kirchner (@CFKArgentina) June 3, 2017
I should confess that, as an Argentina woman and mother, I feel very proud. You all know that my daughter is a feminist militant...
Ana Maria Vazquet Duplat, a protest organizer, explained that since the first protests against femicide began in 2015 “the number of femicide deaths have only worsened.” She added that in 2017, “while the state dismantles and withdraws funding for programs aimed at combating violence against women, a woman is killed every 18 hours.”
Maria Duplat emphasized that the Argentine state is not just absent but, in fact, deliberately “turning its back to the problem,” and instead utilizing the police to “persecute and suppress demonstrators.
“We are faced with a state that is responsible, not for its omission, but for its direct action against our rights,” she said.
A key demand of the march is the release of Milagro Sala, an Indigenous leader of the Tupac Amaru neighborhood association. She was arrested on January 16 in Jujuy on allegations of stealing state funds.
However, Sala contests the allegations, stating that racism plays a key role in her detention and being subjected to torture and receiving death threats. In several opportunities she has stated that the Argentine corporate media has censured her and her peoples struggle.
Many human rights advocates have denounced her arrest and she has received support from Pope Francis, the Interamerican Commission on Human Rights and Amnesty International.
Nodal reported that there have been 133 femicide victims in Argentina this year. Six out of 10 murders are committed by a husband, boyfriend or ex-partner.
In 25 percent of the cases the victims had made a previous complaint, however, did not obtain sufficient protection from state officials.