BUENOS AIRES – Thousands of Argentines took to the streets on Tuesday to renew their demand for an end to femicide, an issue that has resurged under the slogan “ni una menos” (not one less) with the recent murder of a young woman.
Twenty-one-year-old Micaela Garcia’s body was found last Saturday, spurring Argentines to once again demand an end to the killings of women, which occur in this South American country – on average – every 18 hours, according to figures compiled by social organizations.
“We’re here to ask for justice in Micaela’s crime. It’s a scandal: in Argentina, a woman dies every 18 hours, the victim of machismo violence,” Lucia Camara – with the Las Rojas group and one of thousands of people, most of them young people from social movements and leftists gathered on the Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires – told EFE.
At the time of her death, Micaela was studying in Gualeguay, in northeastern Entre Rios province, and was also carrying out social work in poor neighborhoods as a member of the Peronist JP Evita movement.
After a week-long search, authorities found Micaela’s body last Saturday on the outskirts of Gualeguay bearing signs of rape and death by strangulation, and police arrested Sebastian Wagner, 30, for the deed, along with two other men who may have been involved.
“I don’t want revenge, I don’t want justice by my own hand,” said Nestor Garcia, Micaela’s father, on Tuesday during the young woman’s wake in the Entre Rios town of Concepcion del Uruguay, her birthplace and where hundreds of neighbors and young people gathered to pay their last respects.
Last year, after a controversial ruling by Judge Carlos Rossi, Wagner was released from prison after serving four years for two counts of sexual abuse in 2010, although he originally had been sentenced to nine years behind bars.
Lawmakers from both the governing party and the opposition have presented requests that Rossi be fired.
A photo of a smiling Micaela was on dozens of posters and signs carried by women on the Plaza de Mayo on Tuesday.
The “ni una menos” protests were walk-out demonstrations that took place in Argentina on June 3, 2015, and on June 3 and October 19, 2016 to call for an end to femicides and gender violence in the country.