Thursday 8 December 2016

Tens of thousands of women protest following rape and murder of 16-year-old girl

Miguel Lobianco and Caroline Stauffer

Published 20/10/2016 | 12:26

Activists take part in a march to protest violence against women and the murder of a 16-year-old girl in a coastal town of Argentina last week, at Revolucion monument, in Mexico City, Mexico, October 19, 2016. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido
Activists take part in a march to protest violence against women and the murder of a 16-year-old girl in a coastal town of Argentina last week, at Revolucion monument, in Mexico City, Mexico, October 19, 2016. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido

Tens of thousands of women across Argentina protested gender-related violence on Wednesday after the rape and murder of a 16-year-old girl in a coastal town last week.

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The group known as Not One Less organized the protests, which were also held in other Latin American countries, and expressed outrage over the death of Lucia Perez as Argentina confronts a scourge of drug-related violence.

Recent polls show security has replaced inflation as the top concern for Argentines, and Perez's case has spurred particular outrage.

Prosecutor Maria Isabel Sanchez told reporters last week that Perez was drugged with cocaine and had suffered "inhumane sexual aggression" that triggered cardiac arrest.

"They washed her body and dressed her to make it look like an overdose," she said.

Two men known for selling drugs outside a school were detained in Mar del Plata on Sunday and charged with rape and homicide.

A woman is killed once every 30 hours in Argentina, according to Permanent Assembly for Human Rights, an Argentine non-profit group.

"I want to feel safe when I'm walking down the street, the same as men can," marcher Victoria Vazquez told Reuters. "I want to be able to wear a skirt in the summertime without anybody bothering me."

An activist screams at a driver as activists block traffic in a march to protest violence against women and the murder of a 16-year-old girl in a coastal town of Argentina last week, at Reforma avenue, in Mexico City, Mexico, October 19, 2016. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido TEMPLATE OUT
An activist screams at a driver as activists block traffic in a march to protest violence against women and the murder of a 16-year-old girl in a coastal town of Argentina last week, at Reforma avenue, in Mexico City, Mexico, October 19, 2016. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido TEMPLATE OUT
Activists take part in a demostration to protest violence against women and the murder of a 16-year-old girl in a coastal town of Argentina last week, at the Constitution monument in San Salvador, El Salvador, October 19, 2016. The sign reads, "Not one more". REUTERS/Jose Cabezas
Activists take part in a demostration to protest violence against women and the murder of a 16-year-old girl in a coastal town of Argentina last week, at the Constitution monument in San Salvador, El Salvador, October 19, 2016. REUTERS/Jose Cabezas
An activist carries a girl in a march to protest violence against women and the murder of a 16-year-old girl in a coastal town of Argentina last week, at Reforma avenue, in Mexico City, Mexico, October 19, 2016. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido
An activist gestures to a driver as activists block traffic in a march to protest violence against women and the murder of a 16-year-old girl in a coastal town of Argentina last week, at Reforma avenue, in Mexico City, Mexico, October 19, 2016. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido TEMPLATE OUT
Activists take part in a march to protest violence against women and the murder of a 16-year-old girl in a coastal town of Argentina last week, at Reforma avenue in Mexico City, Mexico, October 19, 2016. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido
Activists take part in a march to protest violence against women and the murder of a 16-year-old girl in a coastal town of Argentina last week, at Revolucion monument, in Mexico City, Mexico, October 19, 2016. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido
Activists take part in a march to protest violence against women and the murder of a 16-year-old girl in a coastal town of Argentina last week, at Reforma avenue, in Mexico City, Mexico, October 19, 2016. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido
Activists take part in a march to protest violence against women and the murder of a 16-year-old girl in a coastal town of Argentina last week, at Revolucion monument, in Mexico City, Mexico, October 19, 2016. The sign reads, "Not one more". REUTERS/Edgard Garrido
Activists take part in a march to protest violence against women and the murder of a 16-year-old girl in a coastal town of Argentina last week, at Revolucion monument, in Mexico City, Mexico, October 19, 2016. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido
Activists take part in a demostration to protest violence against women and the murder of a 16-year-old girl in a coastal town of Argentina last week, at the Constitution monument in San Salvador, El Salvador, October 19, 2016. REUTERS/Jose Cabezas
Activists take part in a demostration to protest violence against women and the murder of a 16-year-old girl in a coastal town of Argentina last week, at the Constitution monument in San Salvador, El Salvador, October 19, 2016. The sign reads, "I support". REUTERS/Jose Cabezas
Activists take part in a demostration to protest violence against women and the murder of a 16-year-old girl in a coastal town of Argentina last week, at the Constitution monument in San Salvador, El Salvador, October 19, 2016. REUTERS/Jose Cabezas
Activists take part in a demostration to protest violence against women and the murder of a 16-year-old girl in a coastal town of Argentina last week, at the Constitution monument in San Salvador, El Salvador, October 19, 2016. REUTERS/Jose Cabezas
Activists take part in a demostration to protest violence against women and the murder of a 16-year-old girl in a coastal town of Argentina last week, at the Constitution monument in San Salvador, El Salvador, October 19, 2016. REUTERS/Jose Cabezas
Activists take part in a demostration to protest violence against women and the murder of a 16-year-old girl in a coastal town of Argentina last week, at the Constitution monument in San Salvador, El Salvador, October 19, 2016. REUTERS/Jose Cabezas

President Mauricio Macri's government has announced a new offensive against drug traffickers, sending federal troops to reinforce hot zones such as the port city of Rosario and Buenos Aires province, where Mar del Plata is located.

On Friday police found a threatening note aimed at Maria Eugenia Vidal, the popular governor of Buenos Aires province and Macri ally, in a burned down courthouse.

The Not One Less movement, which advocates for crime prevention and justice for victims of sexual assault, led a one-hour pause from work and study early in the afternoon. Protesters dressed in mourning for what became known as Black Wednesday.

Thousands of women then braved a rainy afternoon in Buenos Aires to march towards the historic Plaza de Mayo with signs supporting Perez and demanding an end to all violence against women.

Reuters

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