Peru: Congress Approves Law Criminalizing Femicide

The Peruvian Congress has passed the text of law that includes and defines femicide as a crime, punishable by 25 years in prison. It specifies that femicide is murder committed against a spouse or cohabitant, or of a woman who has been involved in a relationship with the murderer.

Under current law, the murderer of a woman usually receives a sentence of six years in jail [es], with the possibility of release after two years through prison privilege programs and good behavior.

The Minister of Women's Affairs, Aida García Naranjo, stated that with this new law, women can expect additional support to report their attackers. “It's now up to us to prevent these crimes and tell women to report their attackers, because first offenses are never reported,” she told the local press [es], noting that according to statistics gathered by her sector, 11 women per month are impacted by femicide in Peru.

García Naranjo took the opportunity to highlight the campaigns of prevention and against violence against women [es] that her administration coordinates under the slogan “Stop the Hand”, through the Women's Emergency Center:

The text was approved with 90 votes in favor, 2 against, and 14 abstentions [es].

Fujimorista Congresswoman Martha Chávez, one of those who voted against the law, bases her stance in that [es], from her point of view, the law does not specify sufficiently what constitutes an intimate relationship “analogous to marriage or cohabitation, which could include a temporary relationship between a prostitute and her client, relations between lovers, couples, or adulterous couples”, she said, opining that this law “is completely flawed” [es].

On social media sites, it seems most agree that this law is a positive move, as Chrisstian Olivera (@Criss_Olivera) [es] comments:

Hoy el Congreso aprobó, por fin, la Ley contra el feminicidio. Sin duda, un gran logro para los derechos humanos de las mujeres.

Today, Congress finally passed the law against femicide. Undoubtedly a great achievement for the human rights of women.

A similar opinion was expressed by Twitter user Francheska (@francisdanna) [es]:


Finally good news: They passed the femicide law. HURRAY. The femicide project was…

On Facebook, Lili Alegría [es] joins this train of thought and adds:

Ahora ya no sera tan fácil y gratuito seguir torturando y asesinando a las mujeres y pasar como mucho 9 años en la cárcel como lo era con la anterior ley!!

Now it isn't so easy and gratuitous to keep torturing and murdering women and then spend at most 9 years in jail like under the previous law!

Rocío Silva Santisteban (@pavese) [es] thinks the law should be accompanied by other actions:

Buena noticia pero sanciones no arreglan todo “@an_web Congreso aprueba que el feminicidio sea considerado como delito

Good news but punishment won't fix everything. “@an_web Congress approves femicide as a crime” [es]

There are also those who don't agree and even think the law is “stupid”, like Adonías Ramírez (@adoniasramirez) [es]:

Esta ley del feminicidio si q es una tonteria, ahora que den una ley a favor del hombricidio, golpear, matar discapacitados, homoxesuales

This femicide law is stupid, now they need a law for ‘manicide’, beatings, killing disabled people, homosexuals

Juan Carlos Luján (@juancarloslujan) [es] asks:

@cesarlopezca Sí, espero que algún abogado aclare. ¿En qué se diferencian feminicidio y homicidio?

@cesarlopezca Yes, I hope some lawyer clarifies this. What is the difference between femicide and homicide?

Neither does Miguel Manrique (@mickymh) [es] think this law provides real solutions:

Lo peor es que no se dan cuenta que la Ley de Feminicidio no es la respuesta a la reduccion de los homicidios contra mujeres

The worst thing is they don't realize that the Femicide Law isn't the answer to reducing homicides of women.

Mariela Gambini (@Marielagb) [es] expresses skepticism about the actual effectiveness of this law:

a ver cuanto caso le hacen a la ley del feminicidio recién aprobada por el pleno…

Let's see how much they pay attention to this femicide law recently passed by Congress.

President Ollanta Humala is expected to enact this law at any moment.

According to official records [es], 64 cases of femicide have been reported this year, somewhat less than the 108 cases reported in 2009 and the 95 in 2010.

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