Victims of Femicide in Latin America: Legal and Criminal Justice Responses
I chose “Victims of Femicide in Latin America: Legal and Criminal Justice Responses” as a second source for the video project. The research paper focuses on reasons for high rates of femicide and the legal/criminal justice responses. I believe it very important to look at how the judicial system is confronting cases revolving around violence and femicide. Justice is served through trial, conviction and sentencing. With a range of information, our video project can talk about how systemic discrimination plays a role in dismissing the severity of femicide as well as how some countries choose to tackle it throughout Latin America. Femicide in South America can be dated back to several cvil wars where death squads brutally murdered citizens leaving a legacy of “violence, intimidation and ongoing impunity.” A patriarchal society where men were favoured over women is another probable cause. Incidents of vengeance where loan sharks would kill females of the family as a form of retaliation. The article mentioned there is an unequal level of power between both genders leaving women vulnerable to horrible circumstances. Organized crimes has become one of the leading factors of femicide due to revenge killings, human trafficking or involvement within gangs. For example, 50% of the murdered Guatemalan women in 2015 were linked to gang related reasons. Many countries have taken the step to criminalize femicide as a criminal offence with prison time. However, there were flaws found in this ruling like in Argentina where femicide was deemed as “aggravated type of homicide of a relative, spouse or former spouse, or a person with whom he has or has had an intimate relationship, even if they were not living together at the time of the crime” but since has been changed. At the time, the government failed to recognize cases where the parties involved didn’t know each other. but their punishment is life imprisonment. Penalties for the crime of femicide rage from 20 to 40 years typically. Even with adequate laws put in place, the actual trial is where we can see difficulties. Impunity and lack of investigation led to a rising numbers of unsolved cases. There were only 3658 convictions in Colombia of a total of 34571 cases throughout ten years. Corruption has taken control of the legal system where judges are bribed or threatened, unwillingness on the authority’s side and lack of resources/policy to address gender violence. While searching for resources, I found this paper the most useful. A background look at why and how femcides have increased can allow our group to depict a larger view of the issue on a systemic level.