Chiara Paez was a cheerful and popular 14-year-old girl from the province of Santa Fe in Argentina who met her demise at the hands of her 16-year-old boyfriend. In early May, Chiara went missing from her home at about 1:30 a.m. Her family and friends, including her boyfriend, Manuel Mansilla, came together to search for her. After three days of searching, her dead body was eventually discovered, beaten and bruised, under the patio in Mansilla’s home. There were indications that she had been buried alive.
Mansilla is now in the hands of the authorities, as he confessed to murdering Chiara. The girl was pregnant at the time of her death, and reports indicate that drugs for abortion were found in her body, BuzzFeed reports. However, there are also hints that Manuel did not do the crime alone. His mother and his mother’s partner are also being investigated for the crime.
Chiara’s father told reporters, “She is a big girl, physically, a height of 1.70m (5’6″) and weighing 70kg (150 lbs.) It’s impossible that he had done this alone.”
Chiara’s death is considered a femicide, described as the murder of women because they are women, according to feminist Diana Russell. Chiara’s death and the death of many other women ignited a huge protest in the streets of Argentina.
Thousands of people marched in protest, carrying banners and signs that read “ni una menos” or “not one less” in a call to stop gender-related murders from happening.
According to the International Business Times, 1,800 women died of femicide in Argentina between 2008 and 2014. However, this epidemic is not only prevalent in Argentina, but all over the world. Statistics show that about 35 percent of murders on females all over the world are committed by their partners. This is known as intimate femicide. While the percentage for intimate femicide is high, only 5 percent of murders on males are committed by their partners.
Latin Post reported that more than 200,000 people from all walks of life participated in the femicide protest held on the streets of the Congress building in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Political parties, unions, women’s groups, and the Catholic Church joined in the protest as well.
Argentina President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner posted her support on Twitter by urging people to denounce a “culture that devastates women.”
In addition, famous football player Lionel Messi also expressed his support through a post on Facebook that reads, “Enough femicides. We join all Argentines today in shouting out loud ‘not one woman less'”
The support for change and the elimination of femicide also spread to Chile and Uruguay, the neighboring nations of Argentina.
[Image via Inagist/Instagram]