Mexico: Baja California State Opens First Case under New Femicide Law

The Mexican state of Baja California has opened its first femicide case against a man who murdered his wife and the mother of three children after years of violent abuse. The case was brought under a new version of state law that tightened the definition of femicide to make it easier for prosecutors to show a victim was killed because she was a woman. Prior to March 26, when the new femicide law went into effect, no homicides were classifed as femicides because the law required prosecutors to prove some form of "misogny" or hatred of women in order to charge perpetrators with the more serious crime of femicide. A homicide is now a femicide if the perpetrator had a relationship with the female victim, if the victim shows any evidence of sexual violence or mutiliation, or if threats and harassment were present before the woman was killed. Penalties are harsh, with convicted perpetrators facing at least 20 to 50 years in prison. 

For a copy of a comprehensive 2014 report on femicide in Mexico by the National Citizens Observatory of Feminicide, a Mexican non-profit organization, please click here for a Spanish language version.

Compiled from: Dibble, Sandra, Baja California’s first “femicide” case, U-T San Diego (April 4, 2015).