Femicides of Estefanía and Íngrid: call to break the dangerous silence |Bogotá news today|

Femicides of Estefanía and Íngrid: call to break the dangerous silence |Bogotá news today|
Femicides of Estefanía and Íngrid: call to break the dangerous silence |Bogotá news today|

Estefanía Franco and her alleged femicide, who is a fugitive from justice.

Photo: Courtesy

On the eve of Mother’s Day, through a call, Estefanía Franco, 29, arranged everything to celebrate the date in the company of her family. Hours later, at 3:00 in the morning, in another call her mother received, they told her that her daughter had been injured with a knife. The victim had two daughters, ages 3 and 10, and her alleged attacker was her partner and the girls’ father. Two hours later, from the Mario Gaitán hospital (Soacha), they confirmed her death and the escape of the alleged feminicide.

More information about Bogotá: Living in the streets of Bogotá: the surface of a sea of ​​stories and challenges.

Although the authorities’ reports indicate that this Mother’s Day in Bogotá was the safest in 22 years and that at the national level there was a 17% reduction in homicides, the achievement contrasts with the pain of the families who were hit by criminality. Two femicides were reported in the department this weekend. It was not only Estefanía, but also Íngrid Vanesa Castro, 23 years old, murdered by her romantic partner in Usme, on Saturday, May 11. Just as in the case of Estefanía, the alleged aggressor is a fugitive.

Signs and silences

Estefanía was an archivist at the Ministry of the Environment and, although she spent most of her life in Kennedy, she moved to Soacha with her partner and daughters, for economic reasons. According to her stepbrother, eight years ago she had a relationship with her alleged attacker, identified as Maicol Leguizamón, who works as an independent worker. The young man describes the relationship as toxic. “They knew each other since school. “My sister was about to start studying at university when she became pregnant with her first daughter,” Jorge Luis Gómez told El Espectador.

A constant in cases of feminicide is that, despite the multiple signs, for the victims it is even “unthinkable” that subtle violence will one day translate into death. This is what Estefanía’s family thought: “We didn’t think this would happen. We knew that over the course of the eight years, when they drank, they would get into fights with aggression, even physical ones, but then they would make up.

“The fights, in large part, were because he was a possessive person. He went so far as to say that if she wasn’t his, she wasn’t anyone’s,” Gómez added. Five months ago, Estefanía had expressed to her mother her intention to separate from Maicol. ‘I don’t know what to do,’ she told my mother,” adds the stepbrother. Another reason was her daughters: “I wanted them to be with their biological father.” Unfortunately, the girls witnessed what happened in apartment 502, where the help that the little girls asked for in the early morning of the crime came.

Case similar to that experienced by the family of Íngrid Vanesa Castro. His relatives marched in protest on Mother’s Day, asking for justice and the capture of the alleged aggressor. At the march they talked about previous attacks and a breakup that the man refused to accept.

Social transformation

Natalia Casas, territorial management and technical assistance manager of the Secretariat of Women and Gender Identity, of the Government of Cundinamarca, points out that the department is the third with the most cases of gender-based violence. “This was established by a technical table with the Ombudsman’s Office, which represents a very important challenge for us, especially by encouraging women not to remain silent, to not be afraid to report. We see that the risk continues to be in normalizing this violence,” said the official.

The National Observatory of Gender Violence places the municipality of Soacha as the fourth in the country with the highest number of cases of violence, verified in Legal Medicine in 2023. Bogotá, for its part, heads almost all the ranks. “We must work a lot to strengthen our institutional articulation mechanisms and care routes, as well as achieve good articulation with each municipality and evaluate the territory. We take into account, for example, that 80% of the department is rural and 20% urban, the behaviors are different in both.”

The Bogotá Women’s Secretariat rejected the events that triggered Ingrid’s feminicide and highlighted the need to structurally change the conception of women: “Femicide is the most extreme form of violence that women can suffer, a practice that shows the discrimination based on gender. It is the result of sexist behaviors that, as a society, we must transform so as not to justify or naturalize them.”

The authorities are on the trail of the fugitives, who have already been identified, but the unpleasantness left by these two cases of feminicide continue to perpetuate a phenomenon embedded in the culture. Estefanía’s stepbrother pointed out that while the authorities are looking for the person responsible for murdering her sister, her ex-partner has tried to communicate by calling through social networks. “He calls heartbroken, lost, asking about the girls,” she said. And he adds that, knowing that this will not bring his sister back, “we want him to be caught and there be justice,” he concluded.

Cundinamarca and Bogotá continue to battle gender violence

The challenge of transforming society is too ambitious. The local authorities know this, and that is why the bets of the new local and departmental administrations aim to improve the penal system, just as they risk insisting to citizens, with pedagogy, that no violence against women is acceptable.

Laura Tami, Secretary of Women of Bogotá, pointed out that “we are going to create the team of forensic psychologists and psychosocial support in our judicial representation processes. We have to address psychological damage. At this moment the Secretariat is in three service spaces in the Prosecutor’s Office and we are looking to move to 22″.

The Cundinamarca Women’s Secretariat implements the “Purple Defense” program, a model that seeks to integrate capabilities to strengthen the care of women. However, the key point will be “the promotion of citizen pedagogy and strengthening of reporting channels,” said the Cundinamarca Women’s Secretariat.

Related information: Sandra Romero’s crime: details that make her case a new feminicide.

For more news from the capital and Cundinamarca, visit the Bogotá section of The viewer.

 
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