Debate over feminist rights in Bolivia, after the murder of a young lesbian.

Wednesday, 3 February 2016
Magali Chavez

vivir sin violencia

Varinia Buitriago, the 21 year old that was found dead on January 22nd , is a victim of misogyny in Bolivia. This act has questioned the social and judicial norms of the country. The woman, a declared lesbian, was a victim of a violent act caused by her partner, another woman. The media is unsure of whether to prosecute for crime or murder .This goes beyond any interpretation.

Conceptually, femicide is a crime in genderthat refers to the abuse and misogyny caused by men. At the time of the exposicion to justify the motives of womans rights in the new Bolivian Penal Code, they refered to many cases of violence against woman that have occured in the Bolivian society. Therefore, general laws should be enacted.

However, paragraph 1 in article 348 in the Penal Code, says ¨Who kills a woman¨ leaves open the interpretation that it could be man or woman harming someone. Yet in the circumstances in which it is considered femicide, it is usually a man.

We can not stop analyzing the facts of what happened in the case of Varinia. It is hard to identify whether to classify it has murder or femicide as her partner was a woman. In this case, it is possible to place it under femicide after analyzing other facts mentioned in article 252,which could apply to this specific case:

1. The action has been conducted by an intimate partner living in a the same place as the victim.

5. The victim in the case is vulnerable.

6. Before hand, they woman had been a victim of physical, pyschological, sexual, or economic violence caused by the same person.

According to information made public in the case of this young woman, it is known that between the victim and the alleged perpetrator there was an intimate relationshipand the victim suffered from physical and psychological violencetherefore, Varinia can be found in a vulnerable state. These facts leave us to define exactly what femicide is as this incident was caused by structural relations claiming that Varinia had been a victim of violence prior to the matter.

This analysis is not meant to detract from the debate over whether it should be considered femicide or murder.On the contrary, the idea is rather to promote the analysis and recognize the diversity of our society and the need for the emergence of new measures to protect women from male violence, which could be caused by either male or female as both would be a product of the social patriarchy.

Follwing this there have been over 117 cases of femicide. As of 2016, the state´s general fiscal report has declared over 28 new cases.


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