REPORT AFTER 11 MONTHS OF THE GENDER VIOLENCE ALERT (GVA) DECREE IN MORELOS.

Juliana García Quintanilla, General Coordinator, Paloma  Estrada  Muñoz, Investigations Coordinator, José Martínez Cruz, Communications Coordinator , Marco Aurelio Palma Apodaca, Legal Coordinator

July 4, 2016

INDEX

 1 INTRODUCTION

2 STATE PROSECUTOR’S OFFICE OF THE STATE OF MORELOS

3 STATE COMISSION OF PUBLIC SAFETY

7 GEOGRAPHY SURROUNDING THE FEMINICIDES

12 CONCLUSIONS

1 INTRODUCTION

Despite the Gender Violence Alert in Morelos, the Institutional Violence continues. The Gender Violence Alert (GVA) (in Spanish it is known as Alerta de Violencia de Género (AVG)) is a tool that was created by Feminist Organizations and Organizations in Defense of Human Rights, to report and make individuals aware of the serious violence against the rights of women; it is also a mandate for the authorities. The GVA is established in the General Law for Women’s Access to a Life Free of Violence (Ley General de Acceso de las Mujeres a una Vida Libre de Violencia) and it was ordered for the eight municipalities in the State of Morelos on August 10, 2015. The fundamental Objective is to guarantee women safety, the cease of violence against women and to eliminate inequalities created by legislation that offends/harms their Human Rights, and to do so through a series of concrete, precise, measurable and verifiable measures, through the indicators of compliance that are listed in the Decree as the conclusions and recommendations derived from the study that was done by the Interdisciplinary Work Group. The mandatory question is: why are the feminicides in Morelos increasing, when the objective of the GVA is to decrease them? The answer is not that the GVA is not working, as there have been attempts to discredit it as a tool by those who oppose it. Instead, the answer is that the Government has been negligent in the precise and rigorous compliance of all and each one of the measures of the GVA in Morelos, which negatively affects the guarantee of life, liberty, justice and security of women. As long as there are no adequate measures of prevention and sanction that are taken, we will be very far from bringing the levels of violence down, with each day being more cruel and ruthless, showing the terrible Human Rights crisis. Each violent death of women in Morelos should be investigated under the Feminicide Protocol, but that does not happen. To the contrary, the individuals are re-victimized and stigmatized. This Institutional Violence is added to the other kinds and methods of violence that came before it and that remain in impunity. That is why it is indignant that in full GVA, they are continuing to reproduce the wrong messages of authorities who make women responsible of their own deaths.

 

2 STATE PROSECUTOR’S OFFICE OF THE STATE OF MORELOS

RECOMENDATIONS OF THE WORK GROUP

Adopt all the necessary measures by the authorities in charge of the prosecution and administration of justice in the State of Morelos, in order to guarantee that the feminicide cases are investigated and resolved with the needed diligence and in a reasonable amount of time, adopting a gender and human rights perspective, and with that, guarantee that women victims and their families have access to justice and integral reparation/compensation.

In those cases where it is not possible to continue with the investigations, it is necessary to provide the corresponding reasoning for such. Particularly, with respect to those reported cases by the State of Morelos that are on temporary reserve or archive, it is proposed that the possibilities of reopening the cases is reviewed, using the power granted by article 223 in the Code of Criminal Procedures for the State of Morelos, having in mind, at all times, the obligation to investigate ex officio (by virture of being in an official position)  and with the  proper diligence, which has additional scopes when it comes to women who suffer death or abuse, in a framework of a general context of violence.

INDICATORS OF COMPLIANCE

The work group considers these as indicators of compliance: i) the list of actions of investigation carried out for each of the registered cases; ii) the assessment of cases to be reopened in terms of article 223 of the Code of Criminal Procedures for the State of Morelos; iii) the number of cases that are reopened; iv) the number of cases that are recorded or that begin a legal process; v) the number of cases that continue with the investigations and vi) the number of cases that are on a temporary reserve or archive. ANALYSIS: With respect to the i) list of actions of investigations carried out for each of the registered cases, there has been no detailed report provided with respect to the 271 referred cases by the State Government, much less with respect to the 530 feminicides that were registered by the Comisión Independiente de Derechos Humanos de Morelos, A.C. (Independent Human Rights Commission of Morelos, A.C.) up until the implementation of the GVA. As for ii) the assessment of cases to be reopened in terms of article 223 of the Code of Criminal Procedure for the State of Morelos, the mentioned assessment has not been presented. Regarding iii) the number of reopened case, the General Prosecutor’s office indicates, in the Second Report of the Government of the State of Morelos about the GVA, that they have reopened all the cases. However, this point, indicated by the Second Report of the Government of the State of Morelos, only refers to the 271 registered cases by the Prosector’s office, and not the 530 feminicides that were registered by the Comisión Independiente de Derechos Humanos de Morelos, A.C. (Independent Human Rights Commission of Morelos, A.C.) at the time of the implementation of the GVA. About iv)  the number of cases that are recorded or that begin a legal process, iv) the number of completed cases, v) the number of cases that continue under investigation, and vi) the number of cases that are in temporary reserve or archive, information has been provided with respect to the 271 referred cases by the State Government, but not the 530 that were registered by the Comisión Independiente de Derechos Humanos de Morelos, A.C. (Independent Human Rights Commission of Morelos, A.C.) at the time of the implementation of the GVA. It should be pointed out that the Data Base of the State Prosecutor’s Office with the 271 cases was provided until May 27, 2016, and hence why until now we make a comparative analysis between the noted cases by the State Prosecutor’s office and those registered by the Comisión Independiente de Derechos Humanos de Morelos, A.C. (Independent Human Rights Commission of Morelos, A.C). We will begin by pointing out that the information was provided in three sections, the first regarding the Metropolitan Region, the second regarding the East Region, and the third regarding the South Region.

The number of total cases does not match 271, because even though the East Region points out that it has 63 Files of Investigation and/or of Previous Inquiry, there are only 62 and have at least 2 files that are repeated. The South Region recounts having 57 Files of Investigation and/or of Previous Inquiry, but there are only 56 and have at least one file that is repeated. In regards to the 271 (269) cases reported by the State Prosecutor’s Office and the 530 that are pointed out by Comisión Independiente de Derechos Humanos de Morelos, A.C. (Independent Human Rights Commission of Morelos, A.C) it is observed that 180 cases are similar. 89 of the cases reported by the State Prosecutor’s Office were not found in the Data Base of the Comisión Independiente de Derechos Humanos de Morelos, A.C. (Independent Human Rights Commission of Morelos, A.C). When adding the cases that were not counted in the original record of 530, the total number of cases would be 619 (subject to those recorded that involve more than one woman). So we would be saying that out of 619 feminicides, the Prosecutor’s Office only presented information regarding 271 (269) cases. With regard to access to Justice and Integral Reparation/Compensation, we can say that meanwhile the total number of feminicides in Morelos is not known and recognized, we will be further away from the truth, as a Human Right, and we will also be further away far from Justice.  With regard to Integral Reparation/Compensation, on March 9, 2016, it was said that “the Executive Commission for Assistance and Reparation/Compensation to Victims of the State of Morelos carried out its first economic reparation/compensation by Subsidiary Compensation of a homicide that occurred in that year, which gathers the characteristics of a Feminicide”. It is only 1 case out of the 530 feminicides that were registered by the Comisión Independiente de Derechos Humanos de Morelos, A.C. (Independent Human Rights Commission of Morelos, A.C) (up until June 2013) and 1 out of  the 271 registered by the State Prosecutor’s Office, which respectively represents 0.18 and 0.36.  But as long as the Integral Reparation/Compensation or Integral Restitution of the Damage is seen only as an economic compensation, we will be far from its objective and of guaranteeing the Human Rights of women, their families and of the society. Note: It should be pointed out that the feminicides in the State of Morelos have increased, hence, of the 530 cases that Comisión Independiente de Derechos Humanos de Morelos, A.C. (Independent Human Rights Commission of Morelos, A.C) had registered from 2000 to June 4, 2013, there are now 156 more feminicides, which occurred from July 2013 to February 2016. Combined with the 89 registered in the Data Base of the State Prosecutor’s Office, it is now a total of 775 feminicides.

ACTIONS ORDERED BY THE GVA

Based on article 26, section I of the Law of General Access, the necessary measures must be adopted to guarantee access to justice, so that all cases of violence against women and feminicides are investigated and resolved with thoroughness and due diligence.  The effectiveness in fulfilling this measure is found fully related to strengthening the State Prosecutor’s Office—particularly that of the Prosecutor’s Office Specialized in Women Homicides–, to the diligent execution of the measure like the development of investigation protocols, chain of custody and expert services based on international standards, as well as to the effectiveness of the strategy of training public officials. For that, a unit of analysis and evaluation must be created for the tasks of investigating and processing the gender crimes that are reported. This measure must contemplate to carry out round tables for the analysis of cases with victims, their representatives and high ranking authorities. Within the functions that this Unit must carry out are the assessments of the files in archive or reserve and the identification of possible deficiencies in the investigations with the purpose of suggesting procedures that could be carried out to clarify the acts. As well, it is suggested that a Context Unit is created for the investigation of the feminicides which, through the creation of anthropological, sociological and psychosocial analysis, allow for the identification in the organization, within other things, of the criminal dynamics and the dynamics of violence against women. Assign resources to make up the Specialized Unit exclusively in charge of processing the investigation files that are related to fraudulent feminicides and homicides of women that the GVA refers to.

ANALYSIS:

  1. The task of carrying out the roundtables between victims, their representatives and higher ranking authorities for the analysis of the cases, was scheduled since the Agreement was established in the Meeting with State Government on February 12, 2016. The First Roundtable was on February 26, 2016 at 10:00 in the facilities of the State Prosecutor’s Office. The second meeting took place on March 11, 2016 in the same facilities. The third Meeting was supposed to be carried out on March 31, 2016, however, it was suspended in a unilateral manner by the State Prosecutor’s Office. The fourth meeting was set up for May 20, 2016, before sending the information related to the 271 feminicides that were registered by the State Prosecutor’s Office, however, no information was sent in regard to such, and hence, the Comisión Independiente de Derechos Humanos de Morelos,A.C. (Independent Human Rights Commission of Morelos, A.C) did not attend the meeting. The purpose of these meetings is to recognize the information about the feminicides, and hence why one should compare the data base that was provided by the State Prosecutor’s Office and the Comisión Independiente de Derechos Humanos de Morelos, A.C. (Independent Human Rights Commission of Morelos, A.C), as well as that of other Entities, Departments, Offices or Organizations. However, by not having the information from the State Prosecutor’s Office, it has not been possible to carry out this task.
  2. Strengthening of the State of Prosecutor’s Office– specifically of the State Prosecutor’s Offices Specialized in Women Homicides-, is related with the creation of investigation protocols, custody chain and expert services based on international standards, as well as the effectiveness of the strategy to train public officials. In regards to the Protocol to assist and follow-up on the Feminicides, it is important to note that it exists since 2012, however, its last modification was in 2014 when a new one was created and the one from 2012 was revoked (file:///C:/Users/saul/Downloads/protocolofem.pdf). We consider that this instrument is one that is most advanced in this matter; however, the State Prosecutor’s Office does not have a physical copy. We have not been told if the prosecutors have been trained to implement this protocol, that is to say, we do not know when they were trained, who gave the course, to how many people, and what the results were. As well, we do not know if the Medical Examiner/Forensics team and those that make the expert reports, know and have been trained to implement this protocol (when they were trained, who gave the course, to how many people, and what the results were). They also have not told us if they have the Data Base of the reviewed Protocol. On the other hand, we do not know if and how access to the information is guaranteed to the affected party (families of victimized women, women survivors, legal advisors and human rights organizations), or what is the internal mechanism for complaints when one is faced with the lack of information.
  3. In regards to the creation, by the State Prosecutor’s Office, of the Unit of Analysis and Evaluation of the investigative work and processes of the gender crimes that are reported, assessments of the files in archive and reserve and in order to identify possible deficiencies in the investigations must be carried out, with the purpose of suggesting the procedures that could take place to clarify the facts. On November 18, 2015, the Unit for Assistance to Women Victims of Crime was inaugurated, though, the General Budget that the Unit would count on was not presented, and the Budgets with a gender perspective, which would be used in the same Unit, were also not presented. There was no mention of whether the budget that targeted the elimination of gender inequality had been increased or if they increased the budget in the organization for the prevention, assistance, sanction and eradication of violence against women. As well, what was never mentioned was: the type of base staff that the unit has; the staff profile, that is to say, if they have experience with human rights, gender or feminist studies; or, if the staff has or does not have a record/history of violence against women; and if there is a way to corroborate the mentioned profile, and if it was corroborated. It is also unknown whether the principle of gender equality existed in the integration of the unit. In regards to the infrastructure, we have not been informed of whether the Unit has a web page with information of the services they provide (place, times, services, staff, assistance protocol, manual, etc.), a set telephone number, a specific email address, a data base of the cases that the Unit has, and if they have detailed reports of each case. 4. The creation of a Context Unit for the investigation of feminicides that, through the creation of anthropological, sociological and psychosocial analysis, allows for the identification in the organization, within other things, of the dynamics of crime and violence against women in the organization. Does not exist.

CONCLUSIONS

According to article 26, section I of the General Law of Women’s Access to a Life Free of Violence, the necessary measures must be adopted to guarantee the right to access justice and to guarantee that all the cases of violence against women and feminicides are investigated and resolved with due diligence and thoroughness. In this sense, the State of Morelos is failing. Well, as long as the total number of feminicides in Morelos is not known and recognized, we will be further away from the truth, as a Human Right, and also further away from Justice.

7 STATE COMISSION OF PUBLIC SAFETY

ACTIONS MANDATED BY THE GVA

Immediately design and carry out a strategy for the recovery of public spaces and the prevention of violence, through the implementation of specific security measures in areas of risk or high rates of violence against women.  Within other actions it is requested that: -Preventive police patrolling is reinforced; -Carry out police operations/raids in places where there is a well-founded knowledge that violent conduct or crimes are being committed against women and apply the corresponding sanctions. The fight against human trafficking must be prioritized; -Install public streetlights and improve the existing public streetlights; -Implement surveillance and public security mechanisms, such as the installation of video cameras and emergency posts in strategic points. It is suggested that the surveillance strategy be completed primarily by women. –Increase surveillance and security in public transportation, like tracking through georeferencing; -Disseminate information regarding the support phone lines for victims of violence and create necessary protocol for its effective operation; -Create an application for smart phones that allows women victims of violence to have immediate access to assistance and security services.

ANALYSIS:

1.- In regards to Reinforcing Preventive Police Patrolling, the State Coordinator of Public Safety (Coordinación Estatal de Seguridad Pública) reported that the Exploratory Marches for the Detection of Risks with Gender Perspective have taken place in: • Cuautla: 6 Exploratory Marches • Cuernavaca: 8 Exploratory Marches • Emiliano Zapata: 10 Exploratory Marches • Puente de Ixtla: 7 Exploratory Marches • Temixco: 4 Exploratory Marches • Xochitepec: 4 Exploratory Marches • Yautepec: 3 Exploratory Marches. It is noted that the marches were carried out with the accompaniment of neighbors of the neighborhoods in which they take place: • Cuautla: 267 people have participated. • Cuernavaca: 380 people have participated. • Emiliano Zapata: 583 people have participated. • Puente de Ixtla: 345 people have participated. • Temixco: 215 people have participated. 8 • Xochitepec: 210 people have participated. • Yautepec: 111 people have participated. However, it does not explain the scope or the tool they use to measure the social impact in the prevention of the feminicides. Furthermore, we observed that they are systematic, but limited, and there is not a themed content exclusively to tend to GVA.

2.- Carry out police operations/raids in places where there is well-founded knowledge of violent conducts or crimes against women and implement the corresponding sanctions. The fight against human trafficking must be prioritized. The implementation of the Traffic Light of Violence (Semáforo de Violencia) was reported as well as the patterns of incidents of the crime in the Municipalities with that have declared the GVA, and since that information was mentioned, public safety operations/raids have been carried out. However, we find it worrisome that even for the creation of the mentioned traffic light, there is an existing lack of information in regards to the feminicides, well the homicides are not broken down by sex, which prevents one from knowing the level of feminicide violence, as well, it does not show the different types of violence, nor the methods of such, which are stated in the Law for Access of Women to a Life Free of Violence of the State of Morelos.  The Traffic Lights of Gender Violence that wa established in the Municipalities, only reported cases of family violence, as well, there was no indication as to how the information is generated to “feed”/supply the traffic light, nor how the cases are provided assistance, how they are registered, and how there is follow-up for the cases, nor do they point out the results of the actions. We do not see that there are existing studies or contextual analysis/ investigations that truly allow for the development of strategies and for the design of policies of prevention for those types/forms of violence against women. In regards to the rounds of security and surveillance, it is noted that during the period of December 2015-May 2016 the following happened:: • Cuautla: 10 services were carried out • Cuernavaca: 352 services were carried out • Emiliano Zapata: 85 services were carried out • Jiutepec: 181 services were carried out • Puente de Ixtla: 27 services were carried out • Temixco: 125 services were carried out • Xochitepec: 132 services were carried out • Yautepec: 11 services were carried out. However, this does not explain what the services that were carried out consisted of, they are not broken down by sex, does not indicate what assistance was provided during the services, how the cases were channeled and how they were resolved or what their follow-up was. As well, we observed that they did not indicate the routes, neighborhoods, times, nor the projected dates for following rounds of security and surveillance. It is also noted that a total of 28 Surveillance Committees, 9 School Committees have been created in 6 of the 8 municipalities where the GVA was declared; it is important to note that some of the certificates of installation of the COMVIVE do not have some signatures of executive secretaries of the municipal council of public security and general secretaries of the local governments, but they are in the process of obtaining them.  Adding to what is mentioned before, the design, themes/subjects, basic bibliography that was used so that these Surveillance committees know and recognize the human rights of women, as well as the  decree of the GVA (its origin, mandate, obligations of the State and the actions aimed towards its implementation). In regards to the fights against Human Trafficking, it is worrisome that there was no report of an action that is being carried out for that purpose. There is information that refers to a Municipality, but nothing points out any action in regards to the fight against Human Trafficking; it is to regulate the function black and red circles.

3.- Install public streetlights and improve the existing ones. There is only mention that 3 out of the 8 Municipalities that have declared the GVA have carried out actions to fulfill this indication, however, in a state level, there has been no punctual responses regarding this requirement.

4.- Implement mechanisms of surveillance and public security, such as the installation of video cameras and emergency posts in strategic points. It is suggested that this strategy be carried-out primarily by women. The creation of a Special Unit of Assistance for Women Victims of Domestic Violence was announced (May 30, 2016) by State Commission of Public Security as a group focused on the prevention of and assistance for the gender violence against girls and women. It is composed of 19 members, who are evaluated and trained. It is important to point out that they are 19 out of a total of 5250 members (information recounted by Commissioner Alberto Capella Ibarra), representing only 0.36%. In addition, the design, themes/subjects, basic bibliography that was used in the courses were not made known; the number, profile and the unit of origin of the trained personnel was not included in the creation of the data; And up to this point, there is no information about its actions, the place where they will work, its protocol of assistance and follow-up, and the scheduled times for assistance. It was reported that the C5 counts on the installation of the Neighborhood Alarms and Surveillance Video Cameras in the areas of greater incidents within the municipalities that have declared the GVA, this is with the objective of making the action aimed to prevent and assist violence against women and girls more efficient.  • Cuernavaca: 33 installed cameras • Emiliano Zapata: 14 installed cameras • Jiutepec: 3 installed cameras • Temixco: 12 installed cameras 10 • Xochitepec: 9 installed cameras • Cuautla: 13 installed video cameras • Yautepec: 7 installed cameras • Puente de Ixtla: 8 installed cameras. In regards to the neighborhood alarms that have been installed in the municipalities that have the GVA Declaratoria, the following is reported: • Cuernavaca: 14 Neighboorhood alarms • Emiliano Zapata: 4 Neighboorhood alarms • Jiutepec: 4 Neighboorhood alarms • Temixco: 4 Neighboorhood alarms • Xochitepec: 2 Neighboorhood alarms • Yautepec: 45 Neighboorhood alarms • Puente de Ixtla: 5 Neighboorhood alarms.  In addition, it was reported that there are 99 additional surveillance video cameras y 78 additional neighborhood alarms that are installed in the zones indicated by the Traffic Light of Violence. However, in cases here the feminicides have occurred in public places, or where the body has been found in public places, there was no information given in regards how the surveillance video cameras have contributed relevant information for the detention of the feminicidas (those who commit feminicides) or to prevent that crimes against women are committed.

5.- Increase surveillance and security in public transportation, like tracking through  georeferencing. According to the Second Report of actions that need compliance that were pointed out in the established measures of the original declaration in regards to the request of the GVA of the Government of the State of Morelos de (2016), “the state of Morelos does not have any study that provides evidence of the gender violence that women and girls suffer, while using public transportation , and which would encourage surveillance mechanisms and the implementation of public policies aimed towards the prevention of the mentioned act. Hence why, through the Women Institute of the State of Morelos, in coordination with the Secretariat of Mobility and Transportation and the Commission of Eradication of the PASE System, the corresponding study will be carried-out and after that, the resulting mechanisms will be implemented.” Additionally, the Municipality of Emiliano Zapata mentioned carrying out operations/raids in the public transportation units that transit in the 6 neighborhoods of major incidents that are indicated in the Traffic Light of Violence, during the period of January to April 2016; however, there is no mention of the protocol of action, who carried these out, what the result was and what has been the follow-up.

6.- In relation to the Protocol of Police Behavior/Performance in the area of Gender Violence, that was published January 27, 2016 in the Official Newspaper Land and Liberty, we do not know how many members have been trained to use the mentioned protocol, how many times the protocol has been used, what have been the concrete results and what has been the internal assessment of the same protocol.

7.- Creation of the 066 application for cell  phones. It is important to point out that the 066 application for cell phones to report different types of violence against women is a positive action, but unfortunately, it has not been given maximum publicity, and hence why very few women know about it. On the other hand, it is reported that during the period of December 2015 to April 2016, date when the icon for the Program Integra Mujeres Morelos was added, there have been 2 thousand 783 downloads of the application, which represents the same number of women that benefited from the application. But, in order to know its real use and impact, we need to know how many women have used it, what are the channeling and follow-up procedures, and what have been the results. We can finally say that the same Commissioner Alberto Capella Ibarra has recognized that, “They have not done everything, the work that needs to be done has not been done in an immediate manner”. That is why we recommended that the State Commission for Public Security double its efforts so that the GVA in Morelos is fulfilled in an effective manner, in all its terms.

12 CONCLUSIONS

The Comisión Independiente de Derechos Humanos de Morelos, A.C. (Independent Human Rights Commission of Morelos, A.C), has made and published investigations about the Feminicides in Morelos during almost 16 years, where we have compared data,  derived from a detailed review of the media and the reports made by the families of the assassinated women. And we observe how the authorities continue being negligent. Well, despite the fact that the Feminicide Violence is growing and extending each time, beyond the pain of the individual loss, and it settles in the social body as a wound that ends of up affecting all of us, the authorities try to decrease or hide it by providing erroneous and/or false numbers and/or report that the feminicides are decreasing. This explains why the Feminicide Violence is not decreasing. The Feminicidios will never be eradicated if they are minimized or hidden, when that results in a greater loss of human lives that could be and should be protected.

In lights of this, it is obvious that in Morelos, those who have duty to apply the measure of the GVA, do not know their objective and their obligations, duties, responsibilities and the commitment that they have with the society and with women. However, there have been   displays of sensitivity and concern of the grave consequences of the Feminicide Violence in Morelos, and demanding the effective implementation of the GVA, and hence why we can rest assured that the social awareness has grown. Even when the capacity to transform indignation to organized awareness depends on making sure that the Government takes all the Urgent and Necessary Measures so that no women suffers from the Feminicide Violence, which has to be eradicated from its roots, we must keep making sure they take all the measures if we want to construct a society where Human Rights are for all, male and female. For the Life and Liberty of Women, Not One Less!  Ni Una Menos!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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