Colombia Sees Surge in Femicides Amid Uptick in Violence


Letica Estacio hoped the wave of gender-based violence that surged during the coronavirus lockdown in Colombia would slow after the South American country eased restrictions in early September. But after the five-month lockdown was lifted, femicides—the killing of women because of their gender—surged across the country, data from Colombia’s Femicide Observatory shows.

An average of nearly three women a day were killed in September in Colombia, with 86 femicides recorded in the month. This is the highest rate researchers have documented since they started tracking the killings in 2017. This is said to be a byproduct of the effects of the pandemic. “Every day the conflict gets worse and worse—the narcotrafficking, the killings,” said Estacio, a 52-year-old women rights leader in the western coastal city of Tumaco. “It’s incredibly heavy, and even more so for women.”

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