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Mass protest in Buenos Aires over domestic violence, 'femicide'

In one example, a 14-year-old girl was apparently beaten to death by her boyfriend because she was pregnant.

By
Andrew V. Pestano
About 200,000 people protested in Buenos Aires, Argentina, against femicide and domestic violence directed toward women. Protests were also held nationwide and in neighboring Chile and Uruguay. June 3, 2015. Photo by Jerry Nelson/Flickr
About 200,000 people protested in Buenos Aires, Argentina, against "femicide" and domestic violence directed toward women. Protests were also held nationwide and in neighboring Chile and Uruguay. June 3, 2015. Photo by Jerry Nelson/Flickr

BUENOS AIRES, June 4 (UPI) -- About 200,000 people participated in protests against "femicide" and domestic abuse directed toward women in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on Wednesday.

The protesters in the country's capital were mostly women who marched to the Argentine National Congress. Protests also took place in more than 80 cities across Argentina, as well as in neighboring Chile and Uruguay.

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Femicide is a gender hate-crime term describing the violent and deliberate killing of a woman.

"Ni una menos" was the rallying theme of the marches, which translates to "Not one less."

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In Argentina, a woman was murdered by her estranged husband in April after she asked for a divorce. She was a kindergarten teacher and her husband slit her throat in front of her classroom.

In another recent case, a 14-year-old girl was apparently beaten to death by her boyfriend because she was pregnant.

Argentina adopted a law in 2012 establishing tough punishments for femicide perpetrators, as have many other Latin American countries that face similar problems with violence toward women, including Brazil and Mexico, but campaigners believe it is not enough.

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Protest organizers are demanding comprehensive sex education, protection for victims of violent crimes and access to free legal representation. Organizers said the media has reported more than 1,800 femicides in Argentina between 2008 and 2014.

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"The judges, the sentences, that's what's the most important. Because today people kill and tomorrow they are free, and the next day they go on killing. They keep killing because nothing happens," protester Cristina Hermoa said, according to EuroNews.

Argentina's President Cristina Kirchner spoke out in support of the demonstrations.

"It's not only a judicial or police problem. We are facing a devastating culture against the feminine," Kirchner said in a tweet.

"The woman turned into an object: And if then she is only a thing, there will always be someone who thinks he can break her if he doesn't have her," she added, condemning the notion of diminishing the value of a woman.

Argentine cartoonist Ricardo Siri Liniers expressed his support of the demonstration by using the "Ni una menos" mantra in his own way.

"June 3. Congress plaza. Stop femicide. Not one less," he tweeted.

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