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News > Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico Declares State of Emergency Over Rise in Femicides

  • Women hold a sign that reads,

    Women hold a sign that reads, "If they touch one of us, they touch us all" at a protest in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Oct. 13, 2021. | Photo: Twitter/ @adelmarie51

Published 25 January 2021

In 2020, this Caribbean country registered 6,170 incidents of gender-based violence and 45 femicides.

Puerto Rico's Governor Pedro Pierluis Monday declared a national state of emergency due to the increase in gender-based violence and femicide.


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The initiative came weeks after feminist groups demanded authorities to take measures to curb the femicide's escalation. 

At the end of last year, dozens of feminists took to the streets of San Juan to reject the murder of 17 women from September 15 to October 19, the highest number reported in the country in a four-week-long period.

Puerto Rico, with a population of 3.2 million, registered 6,170 incidents of gender-based violence and 45 femicides in 2020, according to the Gender Equity Observatory.

"Another 15 cases of women murdered in 2020 remain under investigation, and there is a high probability that they were femicide," the Observatory assured.

Pierluis also created the Gender-based Violence Prevention, Support, Rescue, and Education Committee (PARE), to strengthen the fight against this scourge.

"All violence is reprehensible, and we have to fight it relentlessly. Gender violence is a social evil, based on ignorance and attitudes that cannot be tolerated in Puerto Rico," he said.

Nurse Angie Gonzalez, 29, last week became the first female victim of gender violence in 2021 after her husband killed her in front of their three daughters.

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