Mexico saw a record number of reports of sex crimes in February, when 5,239 investigations were initiated.
It was the highest number of reported cases since the National Public Security System (SNSP) began keeping such records in 1997.
Reports of sexual abuse, assault and harassment surged 28.5% from January to February, after the first month of 2020 saw 4,078 cases.
Mexico City had the highest number, where incidents skyrocketed 63.8% from 490 in January to 803 in February. Sexual abuse accounted for 415 of the cases and 167 were for sexual assault.
On a brighter note, intentional homicides dropped 1.8% in February to 2,766.
The most reported sex crime in the country was sexual abuse, which accounted for 2,237 of the cases, followed by rape, with 1,135. There were 565 reports of sexual assault, a 56% increase from the 363 reported in January.
There was also a rise in reports of sexual harassment, from 128 in January to 228 last month, a 78% increase.
The federal government’s Specialized Committee on Sexual Violence estimates that nine of every 10 people reporting such crimes were female and that as many as 40% of them were under 15 years old.
Femicides increased by 24.6% in February, with 91 cases. The majority of them took place in México state, which saw 16. It was followed by Veracruz (12), Puebla (10), Nuevo León (7), Baja California (6) and Mexico City (5).
Those six federal entities accounted for 61.5% of the reports of femicide in the country in February.
Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum announced on February 21 that her administration would strengthen the city’s security strategies to focus on violence against women in order to detect and prevent such crimes.
At the beginning of March, she announced the program called S.O.S. Mujeres, or S.O.S. Women, which aims to visit every single household in the city to inform women of the institutions available to victims in need of support.
She also proposed a campaign to promote equality and nonviolence, as well as a public sex offender database, the approval of a law to criminalize the publication of sexual material without the person’s consent and a street security campaign called Camina libre, Camina segura (Walk free, Walk safe).
Over 80,000 women marched in Mexico City on March 8 to demand better security in the wave of femicides that has swept over the country.
Source: Milenio (sp)
CORRECTION: Homicide numbers were incorrect in the earlier version of this story.