Baja California

Tijuana is the most unsafe city for women in Northwestern Mexico

Murdered women don’t usually get justice. Authorities in Mexico fail to identify the murderer most of the time.

Murdered women don’t usually get justice. Authorities in Mexico fail to identify the murderer most of the time.

In more than 8,640 murders documented in the National Map of Femicides in Mexico, there are more than 6 thousand cases that define this reality.

A redeemable aspect of this is that they identify the murderers, which are usually by spouses, former spouses or rapists.

Besides of sharing with men the dangers of being murdered in an assault or an organized crime, women have to face the possibility of being betrayed by the person they trusted and loved most.

A femicide is a crime motivated by hatred towards women. Baja California’s Criminal Code details that the victim must present signs of sexual violence, or a connection with her aggressor, in addition to other circumstances.

Marlene Solís, an investigating professor from the Colegio de la Frontera Norte (Colef) and specialist of gender subjects, says “This is the most extreme violence towards women”.

The National Map of Femicides in Mexico was tracked by activist and geophysicist María Salguedo.

The mentioned above is a record of news stories published between 2010 and 2020, and has been used by institutions like the United Nations, because of the lack of a similar or official work.

Its statement reveals that Tijuana is the most unsafe city in the northwestern side of the country for women, and it’s a red flag nation wide.

According to data from the Executive Secretary of the Public Security of the National System, Tijuana occupied the fifth place in femicides, from January to December 2019.

It’s a disturbing situation. Not only for the last months in which there are already 19 murders of women”, says Solís from Colef.

However, the official number does not completely show the severity of the problem.

If a case is not prosecuted or the aggressor is unknown (like in most of these murder cases), then it’s not possible to identify them as femicides.

As of this year, only 2 out of 8 murders have been identified as femicides in Tijuana, and 7 out of 26 in Baja California, according to data from General Prosecutors of the State.

Marcha y manifestación del 15 de febrero en Tijuana
Marcha y manifestación del 15 de febrero en Tijuana

This crime is found in the Federal Criminal Code and Baja California’s Criminal Code.

This does not guarantee justice, because nationally, it’s recorded that only 2.6% obtained it in the last 10 years according to the National Map of Femicides.

Out of the 8,175 registered cases,only 947 murderers were seized and 211 were condemned.

March and protest on February 15 in Tijuana.
March and protest on February 15 in Tijuana.

Jennifer Carbajal, a 22 year old Tijuanense (from Tijuana), asks the authorities to imprison her sister’s murderer Christina. She who was murdered on January 6.

My sister’s alleged murderer was her boyfriend. There’s proof he was with her a couple of hours before they found her body, and he hasn’t been seen, not even to fake he’s in pain”, Jennifer states.

She assures there’s chemical and DNA tests to issue an arrest warrant, but he is still on the loose.

Officials do nothing. The Prosecution Authorities do nothing. They put the subject on a shelf and not assure security to no one. It’s a huge pain I do not wish on anyone”, she says.

Elizabeth Rosales
Elizabeth Rosales

Nery Pelayo Ramirez is another unpunished case. She was 33 years old when her former partner murdered her in 2019, in front of her teenage daughter.

All of this was jealousy, but my mom actually did nothing. She was always a woman who wanted to succeed.” said the young lady this past February 15, moments before starting the “No more femicides” march and protest in the Independence Monument roundabout, also known as “Las Tijeras” in Tijuana.

A lot of people blame my mom saying it was her fault, that she was being a whore, but she wasn’t guilty. If it was up to me, I would have done anything to not get her killed” she added.

That day, more than 500 women, men and children protested to demand better patrolling in the streets and a better attention from the authorities.

Elizabeth Rosales
Elizabeth Rosales

There has been justice for some in the state, but it has not been enough, Marlene Solís says.

The government has acknowledged this, and this new government needs to pay way more attention” says the scholar from Colef.

Femicides have been condemned here, like Jonathan Espinoza Pantoja, who set her ex-girlfriend Keyra González on fire on October 2017 and was sentenced to 50 years in jail in 2019 because of the crimes and damage in third-party property.

In a more recent case, a process was linked with remand to Jonathan Erick N., probable person responsible of his former partner and former co-worker Genoveva Álvarez’s femicide.

There are other cases like Nery Pelayo’s daughter who reported been harassed by representatives of the ministerial department who accused her of ruining her mother’s case.

And also Jennifer Carbajal, who doesn’t feel safe to go out alone.

My parents are panicking” she says.

In the presence of the protest this past February 15, Governor Jaime Bonilla commented that he might activate a gender alert in the state before the month ends.

According to the National Institute for Women, a gender alert is a protection mechanism to women’s human rights and consists of a set of government emergency actions to face femicides.

We demand the state sets a gender alert because the situation we are living is sad”, Samantha Montoya adds, representative of the Intersectional Feminist Network Against Violence in Tijuana.

She also added “Everyday there is a feeling of insecurity, and of doing security strategies with people, and to be careful”.

In Mexico, 13 states have declared Gender Violence Alerts against women. The State of Mexico is among them, declaring this in 2015 with no solution to this day.

The impact this could have in the levels of violence against women in Baja California, is a pending subject.

Sign of the march and protest held on February 15 in Tijuana
Sign of the march and protest held on February 15 in Tijuana

[Photo that reads]: “I envy monuments because they are watched, I envy monuments because the state does care about them #WomenTogetherAreStronger #NotOneMore #Enough”



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