Telling the story of violence in Guanajuato
By Trish Snyder
I’ve been one of the lucky ones. I had a loving father and married a gentle man. I have not known violence personally. I wish I could say the same thing for each and every one of my four daughters and eight granddaughters.
For the last six years, I have been part of a volunteer group of Mexican, Canadian and US women who plan and organize the San Miguel Walk Against Violence. We have raised awareness in the community about violence towards women and have raised money to provide prevention services and help to survivors. The numbers are staggering – 60.1 percent of women in Mexico have been victims of violence – but numbers don’t mean much until you put a name or a face on those numbers.
Most of us won’t know a Marcia or a Joyous or a Nancy unless we get involved in some way – or until their sad story is told. A group of women activists from Guanajuato did just that recently. They told the story. Las Libres, AC organized marches in the 46 municipalities of the state of Guanajuato on September 21 to draw attention to the 56 women who have died at the hands of others thus far in 2013.
The women ranged in age from 16 to 87 and were from all over the state – Silao, Irapuato, Leon, San Luis de la Paz, Celaya…. Three were from San Miguel de Allende. There was no pattern to the killings – some happened at home, some at work, some in the street. In most cases, the women knew the attacker. In all cases, they were brutalized. In all cases, they left behind family and friends who mourn their loss.
In San Miguel, the anti-violence program at CASA organized the September 21 march in a symbolic funeral procession through the city. Everyone dressed in black; four of the young health educators at CASA carried the coffin. The first names of the victims were printed on placards. As we walked through the streets, local people stopped out of respect and were handed an information flyer about how to contact the anti-violence program at CASA.
There has been a lot of talk lately about how we need do something about crime and safety. Here’s something you can do: Join the San Miguel Walk Against Violence committee. Our efforts support three psychologists who work with support groups of victims, train volunteers in churches on how to recognize violence and intervene appropriately; teach young people about violence prevention; work directly with victims of all ages.
Add your name to our mailing list: TSMAR30@aol.com or call the 24-hour emergency line 415-124-6990. For English, call 121-0612.