Region, Police News, Human Rights

Guanacaste registers another femicide, for the second consecutive month

Esta publicación también está disponible en: Español
Translator: Arianna Hernández

Francis Leon Miranda was 25 years old, seven months pregnant, with a three-year-old daughter and a six-year-old son. Carolina Briceño Morales was 28 years old. She was going to high school and she was the mother of three children who were nine, six and four years old.

Both were murdered by their ex-partners. They were stabbed to death. Francis was killed on September 8 in Liberia, and Carolina died at dawn on Saturday, October 9 in Nicoya.

With these recent incidents in just over a month, Guanacaste reached the average number of femicides for the last four years (2017-2020).

The Judiciary’s Gender Observatory specifies that femicide is normally “the product of escalating violence and an unequal relationship between the women and the men who commit femicide.”

Both crimes will be tried as femicides and not as homicides, thanks to one of this year’s reforms to the Law on Criminalization of Violence against Women (LPVCM for the Spanish acronym).

Before the amendment to the regulation, the legislation classified femicides as murders that occur at the hands of current spouses or partners, but after the reform, it was broadened to include dating relationships, living together and not living together, including incidents that occur after a divorce, separation or breakup.

Even though the legislation changed this year, annual judicial statistics have counted both the femicides committed by current partners as well as those taken into account by the recent broader classification. According to these statistics, an average of 23 women have been victims of femicide each year since 2017.

And this year, 10 femicides have been tallied so far, according to data from the Prosecutor’s Office and the Judiciary’s Observatory of Gender Violence. More than half of the women killed in the last four years were mothers.

Partners Are Main Killers

The suspects, whose last names are Ramirez Duarte and Valencia Moraga, are in preventive prison while waiting for the Prosecutor’s Offices to investigate the cases and request the trials’ opening, confirmed the Public Ministry’s press office.

Francis and Carolina dying at the hands of their ex-partners is not an isolated incident. Almost six out of every 10 women and girls worldwide who die violently are murdered by their partner or relatives, according to an analysis by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

Femicide is the most violent manifestation against women, but other types of aggression are experienced in Guanacaste on a daily basis. Since 2016, Guanacaste ranks second in the country by region where more women reported violence according to the LPVCM, only surpassed by the Southern Zone.