MEXICO CITY (CNS) — Mexico’s bishops called for action after a spate of slayings of women and girls — crimes known as femicide — that have provoked anger and protests, but also highlighted the country’s machismo culture and deep-seated problems such as impunity.
In a Feb. 23 statement, the bishops said the crimes “for their brutality have left us perplexed and filled us with pain and sadness.”
“In the face of this reality, the bishops of Mexico raise their voices to give words to the pain and all those affected by it. … We wish to place ourselves, from a place of faith, to offer our presence in words, dialogue and meetings to open ourselves to compassion.”
Femicide has occurred with impunity in Mexico for decades, but came to the forefront again with the Feb. 9 murder of a Mexico City woman, Ingrid Escamilla. She was murdered by her husband, and her body was skinned and disemboweled.
The murder of 7-year-old girl named Fatima, who was taken Feb. 11 from outside her school by a stranger and found abused and murdered, added to the outrage.
Church officials called for action, but also education and strengthening families.
“This reality makes us confront an authentic educational emergency, because we have lost the basic references of getting along together: truth, kindness and beauty,” the bishops said.
“We recognize the need for an educative base that implies family life,” the bishops’ statement said. “We are social actors, and all of us have a responsibility in the mission of forging a culture of hope and peace.”
Collectives of feminists have protested in Mexico City, including covering monuments and the National Palace with graffiti. A national strike involving “a day without women” has been called for March 9. Some Catholic universities have provided permission to female students and staff to participate in the protest.
The femicide issue, however, has become politicized.
President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and his supporters have described the protests as an attempt to discredit his administration. Speaking Feb. 20, the president proposed “moral regeneration” and “fighting for a better society” as solutions.
He also warned of “conservatives” masquerading as feminists and conveniently showing sudden concern for women’s issues.
His predecessors and many state governors from all political stripes have preferred to downplay the issue of femicide, according to analysts, in attempts to keep unflattering news from spreading.
Join the CatholicPhilly.com family
CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you and hundreds of other people become part of our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community and sustain CatholicPhilly.com as your trusted news source. Thank you in advance!
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103