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Women Fall Victim to Violence in Mexico's Decade-Old War on Drugs

Stephen Woodman - Thomson Reuters Foundation
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December 27, 2016

Are women safe in Mexico? After an increasing rate of femicides, these brave activists are protesting their government's lack of action. (teleSUR English)

Denisse Velasco has been suffering from acute anxiety since spring, when she narrowly escaped being abducted from a busy street in Guadalajara, Mexico.

She was waiting at a bus stop one morning when a man jumped out of a taxi and tried to force her inside. Velasco suspects it was a drug trafficker intent on kidnapping her for ransom.

"The same thing could happen again in any moment," Velasco told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. "I walk different routes every day to make sure I'm not followed."

Velasco's story is far from uncommon in Mexico, where violence against women has risen dramatically since the government declared war on organized drug trafficking 10 years ago.

Former Mexican President Felipe Calderon launched the hard-line war on drug cartels in December 2006, heavily increasing the role of the military to enforce the law-and-order regime. More than 170,000 killings have been reported since the crackdown commenced.

The offensive splintered trafficking gangs, creating dozens of new ones. It also aggravated territorial disputes and made Mexico more violent, experts say, with women increasingly the victims.

Murders of women have risen by 84 percent to 2,383 last year from 1,298 in 2006, according to government statistics.

The death toll for women has been particularly high in the key battlegrounds of Jalisco, Guerrero and Mexico states.

Read the rest at Thomson Reuters Foundation

Related: The Law Should Protect All Victims of Domestic Violence – But Women Need It Most (The Conversation)

Related: Impunity Fuels Violence Against Women: Human Rights Commission (El Universal)

Related: Pipe Bomb Detonated Outside Women's Rights Center in Mexico City (El Universal)

  Check out Banderas Bay Women’s Shelter

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