During Pandemic, Activists From Home Protest Femicide

By Kendal Blust
Published: Tuesday, April 7, 2020 - 5:35pm
Updated: Tuesday, April 7, 2020 - 5:44pm

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Justicia para Anapaola sign
Karla Soto
A sign reading "Justice For Anapaola" hangs from the window of a home in Hermosillo, Sonora.

With the ongoing spread of the coronavirus, women in Sonora can’t take to the streets to protest the femicide of 13-year-old Anapaola, who was killed in her home in Nogales, Sonora on April 2. Instead, they’re speaking out on social media and showing their solidarity from home.

Across the state, women are hanging signs that read "Justice For Anapaola" from window, gates and doors.

"And as a form of collective action, we're going to light a candle (in our homes on Tuesday)," said activist Andrea Sanchez, who's part of the group Feminist Girls Of Mexico that's working to fight violence against children in Mexico.

Girl holding protest sign
Andrea Sanchez
A young girl holds up a sign protesting violence against girls.

The collective action Tuesday night, called "A Light For Anapaola," is a way for women to show their support for Anapaola's loved ones, Sanchez said, and to continue to demand that the government take action to address rising violence against women.

In recent months, thousands of women have marched to protest femicide in Sonora, and across Mexico, where more than 3,800 women and girls were murdered last year. In Sonora, the number of women murdered increased 80%, from 65 in 2018 to 117 in 2019.

And Sanchez says women have to keep looking out for each other, because even during the pandemic, there’s been no reprieve from gender-based violence.

"We've seen our community responding and more women of all ages joining protests. But right now it's hard because we can't do anything. We feel helpless," Sanchez said. "But the thing we're pushing that as women we have to take care of each other. Because if we don't who will?"

She said during the pandemic, while many women and girls may be trapped in homes where they are not safe, it's important for neighbors to be attentive and to speak up if they hear or see violence in their communities.

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Justicia para Anapaola sign
Andrea Sanchez
As part of the action "A Light for Anapaola," someone has a lit candle under a sign that reads, "Don't touch, don't rape, don't kill little girls," and "Justice For Anapaola."

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