By Cintia Garcia
Impunity Watch Reporter, South America
LIMA, PERU—An unprecedented number of protestors, more than 50,000, marched on August 13th denouncing violence against women. Protestors in Lima marched to the palace of justice while eight other cities across Peru simultaneously held protests. The march was an outcry against lenient sentences given by the court in two high profiled cases of male perpetrators.
Those among the protestors included the newly elected president, Pedro Pablo Kucynski and his wife. He announced his plan of combating femicide: “to ask for facilities for women to denounce violence because abuse flourishes in an environment where complaints cannot be made and the blows absorbed in silence and this not how It should be.” Also present was Victor Ticona, the president of Peru’s judicial system, he stated, “Today, the 13th of August, is a historic day for this country because it represents a breaking point and the start of a new culture to eradicate the marginalization that women have been suffering, especially with violence.” He also announced that a commission of judges would receive the protestors and listen to their demands. Protestors chanted “by touching one, they are touching all of us” and “no more violence nor impunity.”
Peru has experienced a rise in gender violence. According to the Ministry of Women and Vulnerable people, fifty-four women were killed by their partners and another 118 women were victims of femicide attempts. An estimated seven out of ten Peruvian women have been victims of violence. A study conducted by the defender’s office stated that in eighty-one percent of the cases of attempted femicide no measures were taken to protect survivors. Because the state neglected to protect survivors, twenty-four percent of those women were murdered by their male perpetrators. Ana Maria Romero, Peru’s minister of women stated, “our problem is not a lack of legislation, it is how we apply the law. Those in charge of justice need more sensitivity and a better understanding of the rights of the women.”
These protests follow those that have occurred earlier this year in Brazil, Argentina, and Mexico—all under the slogan “Ni Una Mas” coined by the slain poet and activist Susana Chavez.
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