In Mexico, People Are Using The #10YearChallange To Highlight The Drug War’s Devastating Impact On Women

credit: Twitter / @Andalalucha

The latest global hashtag obsession: #10YearChallange. Like viral trends before it, this before-and-after photo dare has been appropriated by SJ movements, with activists using the challenge to highlight climate change and war. In Mexico, families of victims and advocates are following suit, using the hashtag to show the devastating impact the drug war has had on the people, especially women and children, of the country.

“In Mexico people are using the #10yearchallenge to remind us of the wrongly named ‘war on drugs’ that has been waged in Mexico on the general population and how enforced disappearances, murders, femicides and corruption have ruined the lives of hundreds of thousands of people,” wrote Andalusia Knoll Soloff, a Mexico-based multimedia journalist, on Twitter.

She shared an image of Graciela Pérez, the mother of Milynally, who at 13 years old was disappeared from a highway in the northeastern state of Tamaulipas along with her uncle and cousins.

On an average day in Mexico, more than seven women are killed, with numbers growing as the country’s brutal drug war carries on, according to a 2017 report by the Mexican government and United Nations.

In 1985, the annual femicide rate was 3.8 per 100,000 women, which dropped to 1.9 in 2007. But that number has alarmingly soared in recent years, increasing to 4.6 per 100,000 in 2012 and 4.4 in 2016.

According to the report, of the 52,210 killings of women recorded in a 32-year period, about a third of them occurred in the six years leading up to the study. The rise, researchers say, coincide with Mexico’s militarized campaign against drug cartels, with women, who are increasingly being stabbed and gunned down in public, being caught between the violent battle of drug cartels and the state.

“Violence against women and girls – which can result in death – is perpetrated, in most cases, to conserve and reproduce the submission and subordination of them derived from relationships of power,” the report said.

Knoll Soloff also shared the story of Abraham Fraijo, a father who lost his three-year-old daughter. “10 years later [Fraijo is], protesting the corruption and injustice that killed Emilia and 48 other baby and toddlers in the ABC nursery fire in Mexico in 2009,” she tweeted, referring to the June 7 blaze caused by a government warehouse that immediately claimed the lives of 44 toddlers and infants and later five more who died in hospitals.

With little means to combat the years-long violence, families of victims of the drug wars are using the trending hashtag to raise awareness of the brutality inflicting their women and youth. For more, follow Knoll Solof’s harrowing thread on Twitter.

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