How Mexico’s Drug War Fuels Violence Against Women

Rampant impunity makes it so that in Honduras, 95 percent of the 900 cases of femicide reported in 2013 and 2014 alone have never been investigated or taken to court. The impunity rate for femicides is even higher in Guatemala, estimated at 99 percent. Women in all three countries often do not report cases of domestic, sexual or gang violence for fear or reprisals, distrust of police or skepticism that an investigation or prosecution would take place within this established environment of violence and impunity.

Angelika Albaladejo

This piece has also been published in its entirety on the Center for International Policy’s Security Assistance Monitor Blog.

The negative effects of the drug war in Mexico have been in the media spotlight since corruption and abuses by security forces and government officials were revealed in the high-profile case of 43 students forcibly disappeared last September. But, within the mass media coverage of Mexico, little attention has been given to the specific culture of impunity for gender-based violence committed by security forces.

In Mexico and elsewhere in Latin America and the Caribbean, historically unequal power relations between men and women have been further exacerbated by a hyper-masculine security approach that relies on the armed forces and militarized policing to combat organized crime and drug trafficking.

As the Mexican military has been increasingly tasked with public security functions, concerns over human rights violations have predictably increased. Increased militarization, paired…

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