Less than a month after the femicide of Ursula Bahillo, which shocked the entire country and unleashed a Massive march demanding “not one less” and a request to declare a national emergency on gender-based violence, another victim of femicide, Guadalupe Curual, the sixth in fifteen days, again gave an account of the urgency of the claim. On Tuesday, around ten o’clock at night, Bautista Quintrinqueo, against whom Curual had filed at least three complaints of gender violence, pursued and murdered her in the middle of the central street of the Patagonian town of Villa La Angostura.
“I was born to be free, not killed“, points out a poster that Guadalupe had superimposed on her Facebook profile photograph, on September 7, 2020. Since the early hours of Tuesday the people of Neuquén have been mobilized: the women’s movement complained to the local police station, in front of the prosecutor’s office, and on Wednesday afternoon they were standing guard at the door of the hospital, where the femicide was being held. In the city of Neuquén, the women’s movement also mobilized in front of the Government House of the province.
“We are exhausted, with much pain, asking for justice“Valeria Navarro, former councilor of Villa La Angostura and sister of Lucía, Guadalupe’s best friend and with whom she lived during the last weeks in the apartment that she rented, told this newspaper. In addition to sharing the daily life of motherhood -both mothers of little girls- both suffered harassment and violence from their former partners. Guadalupe had repeatedly denounced Quintrinqueo at Police Station 28, the only one in the southern town, while Lucía’s attacker is at large, with a request for his arrest. “Guada was killed by a murderer, but he also killed her the laziness of those who have to protect women’s rights“warned Navarro, who participated in the meeting of firms that in 2019 promoted feminist organizations to open a women’s police station in Villa La Angostura. The initiative was not successful due to a lack of interest on the part of the members of the Deliberative Council.
Curual, a native of Chile, I was 20 years old. She had attended high school in Dina Huapi, a municipality in the province of Río Negro, and in Villa La Angostura she rented an apartment, where she had lived with her friend Lucía for a few weeks. His father, who resides in Villa Llanquín, and his brother, who lives in Bariloche, traveled to Neuquén on Wednesday to assist Guadalupe’s daughter, a baby just over a year old. “She was a loving girl, many of us knew her from the bakery where she worked, in the Center. We all know each other here. What happened is terrible and the whole town is going to mourn for several weeks, “said Susana Lara, a local journalist and member of the Lof Paicil Antriao Mapuche community.
Throughout Wednesday afternoon there were demonstrations in different parts of the city demanding justice for Guadalupe. At the end of the day, Quintrinqueo was transferred to a police station in San Martín de los Andes, where he will be subjected to an imputation hearing. The prosecution told the Télam agency that the aggressor will be charged with the crime of “homicide qualified by femicide”. This Thursday, the Forensic Medical Corps of the Judiciary will carry out an autopsy on Curual’s body.
The first complaint that Guadalupe had made was in July of last year. Justice then ordered a perimeter restriction so that the aggressor could not approach the complainant. On January 11, Guadalupe turned to the authorities, because Quintrinqueo did not comply with the order, and at the beginning of February he again warned about the situation before the Violence Office of the Judiciary. “The perimeter was not controlled by anyone. He came to the door of his house”Navarro recounted. During the last two days, the femicide sent him messages “telling him how he was going to kill her. He he was willing to attack all the people who were near Guada“added the woman, who affirmed that her sister Lucia” was saved for a few minutes “since, when the man attacked her friend, she had gone to take her daughter to her mother’s house.
At the time of the attack, which took place in the middle of the tourist center, next to the service station at the entrance to the city, a policewoman from the Zapala municipality intervened, who was there on vacation. The femicide, after escaping and wounding his own body, as if he wanted to commit suicide – an attitude that is repeated in other cases of femicide – was apprehended by local officers and taken to the hospital, where he was in police custody, with an order detention ordered by the prosecution investigating the case. A man was also injured in the crime, who, according to the prosecutor Fernando Rubio, was Guadalupe’s current partner. On Wednesday afternoon, the man was transferred to a health center in Bariloche.
What doesn’t work
After the femicide of Ursula Bahillo, on February 8 in the town of Rojas, in the province of Buenos Aires, different feminist and Human Rights organizations warned about the flaws in the judicial system and the lack of control in prevention policies towards situations of gender-based violence. The case of Guadalupe once again puts on the table the failure of the institutions that do not arrive in time to prevent femicides. “Evidently something is failing. The femicide in Guadalupe shows us how far we have to do self-criticism and improve, “Patricia Maistegui, Undersecretary of Women of the Government of the Province of Neuquén, told this newspaper and warned that”Justice measures did not reach. Today a restriction does not solve the problem, we have to look deeper to give answers before the femicides occur. ”
For Maistegui, the government “does many things, but obviously they are insufficient.” In this sense, the National Minister of Women, Gender and Diversity reported that she submitted a letter to the Villa La Angostura Prosecutor’s Office, in charge of the prosecutor Fernando Rubio, so that the investigation of femicide is carried out with a gender perspective and within the framework of international human rights instruments of which the Argentine State is a party. “Each femicide is an irreparable pain and reaffirms the certainty of continuing to demand the transformation of the judicial system,” said the minister, Elizabeth Gómez Alcorta.
One femicide every 26 hours
According to the figures recorded by the Observatorio Now Que Sí Nos Ven, so far in 2021, 49 women were victims of femicide, that is, a woman died every 26 hours. Of the victims, 70% were killed by their partner or ex-partner, as in the case of Ursula and also in the case of Guadalupe, and 16% of these women had denounced the aggressors, while only 8% had any judicial measure.
On February 13, President Alberto Fernández announced the creation of the Federal Council for the Addressing of Femicides, Travesticides and Transfemicides and ratified the “conviction” of the Government to “respond to acts of extreme violence” against women and the LGBTI community in the face of the alarming numbers of cases of gender violence. However, neither public policies nor the constant cry of “not one less” were enough to stop the alarming number that a new victim of patriarchal violence adds every day.