To Be Young and A Woman Spells Big Danger in the Honduras
NEW DELHI: It is connected by an appendix like formation with North and South America. A paradise on earth with sunny beaches and typically coastal climate, Honduras, a Central American nation has the dubious distinction of being inordinately anti-women.
Honduras has the highest crime rate in the world-79 deaths per 100,000 persons- and women are a hefty chunk in the statistics. Since the coup in 2009 there has been a steep increase in crime against women in the country.
The anarchic state of affairs have exacerbated the gender based crime- rapes etc, a phenomenon which has flourished into a genre in itself known as 'feminicidio' or femicide.
"According to the University Institute for Democracy, Peace and Security in Honduras, 531 women were murdered in 2014, the majority of these aged between 15 and 24. Although this number was slightly lower than that of the previous year – there were 636 recorded murders of women in 2013 – the lack of accountability for this violation of a woman’s most basic human right has normalised the concept of femicide", reported Irish Times.
The country is rife with gangs belonging to drug cartels, who are usually armed and dangerous. Infighting between gangs and, gangs and authorities are a common affairs which are a major reason for an increased homicide rate. These gangsters have a penchant for young girls and like to sport them as trophies, the latter at times get caught in the crossfire and get killed.
Dicsa Bulnes, who belongs to a marginalised Afro-Caribbean Garifuna community, speaks about her plight in an interview with Irish Times, which rings true for almost every young woman in Honduras today. "As a woman I feel trapped. I am a prisoner in my own home, there’s nowhere for me to go. I have no freedom.
My partner nearly killed me. He still sends me threatening messages on my mobile attacking me. I’ve tried reporting him but the authorities won’t do anything. It feels like they are forcing women to buy their own coffins, to return to the attacker and suffer through the violence.”
In the last decade the crime against women in Honduras has ratcheted up by 263.5 percent.
The dangerous affection for beautiful women by the drug cartel members has also given rise to a host of beauty pageants, with almost every community and city organising one searching for the most gorgeous among them, some of them are titled Miss Coffee, Miss Bean, Miss Cocoa, and Miss Carnival.
The country's bloodlust for young beauty queens came to light last year when a 19 year old Miss Honduras Maria Jose Alvarado Munoz was brutally killed by her 32 year boyfriend, along with her sister. Her sin was that she had dared to shake a leg or two in a club with a stranger.
“The increased militarisation of the country means all measures now focus on weapons and the military, while any measures that were taken to protect women’s rights have been completely abandoned” .
“It’s almost like there’s a carte blanche for the assassination of women. Anyone can murder a woman in Honduras and nothing will happen." Said Carolina Sierra a member of Foro de mujeres por la vida (women's Forum for Life) to Irish times.