Girl’s Rape and Death in Argentina Causes Mass Protests

After the rape and death of a teenage girl, tens of thousands of women have demonstrated across Latin America.

Sixteen year old Lucia Perez was drugged, tortured and repeatedly raped before dying of a heart attack in the coastal city of Mar del Plata in Argentina.   Two men known for selling drugs outside a school were detained in Mar del Plata on Sunday and charged with rape and homicide.

A group known as Not One Less organized the protests and caused Buenos Aires female workers, dressed in black, to  stop work for an hour to take to the streets and highlight violent crimes committed against women.  The Permanent Assembly for Human Rights estimates that a woman is killed every 30 hours in Argentina.

Protesters marched through the city – some holding pictures of victims.  Protesters carried signs saying: “I march because I was luckier”and “I want to live without fear.”

Demonstrator Victoria Vazquez said: “I want to go out on a quiet street. I want to do the same things that men do. I want to go out at three in the morning and not have anything happen to me. I want to wear a skirt in the summer and no one say anything to me, no one bother me. I don’t want to feel fear each time I see a group of five guys that are waiting on a corner to say something to me. I want to be relaxed on the street and that they stop the killing.”

Thousands of protesters also took to the streets in Chile, Bolivia, Mexico and Spain in support of the demonstration in Argentina.

In Bolivia, protester Alejandra Canelas said: “The women of Argentina have called a nationwide women’s protest. Here in Bolivia, we are tired that women are the ones that are killed and raped daily, and we have also decided to come together in a national women’s strike, called by the women of Argentina, so that little by little, people from other countries will also join this mobilization.”

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