The Effect of Legal Reform on Feminicides in Mexico
Ibarra Gallardo, Rodrigo. “The Effect of Legal Reform on Feminicides in Mexico”, Boston College, 2021. http://hdl.handle.net/2345/bc-ir:109230.
Feminicides are the gender motivated killings of women. In other words, they are the killing of women because they are women. This difference in motive from homicides means that feminicides merit legal distinction, which led all 32 Mexican states to reform their penal codes in order to include feminicide. This paper investigates the evolution of feminicide typifications across states, and evaluates whether states with stronger feminicide laws have been more effective at enforcing justice by having higher prosecution rates for feminicides. Three factors are of particular importance when measuring the strength of feminicide laws: (1) the number of objective criteria used to recognize gender motive; (2) the presence of subjective elements; and (3) the recognition of feminicide as an autonomous crime. This paper finds that between 2010 and 2017, the typification of feminicide laws improved for all three criteria, but many states continue to have laws that are far from ideal. Over the last decade, feminicide prosecution rate fell as a result of an increase in violence throughout the country, even though the number of feminicide prosecutions increased. Yet the strength of the laws had a positive and significant effect on feminicide prosecutions, suggesting that the decrease in the feminicide prosecution rate would have been greater were it not for the stronger laws. This paper finds that the average improvement in the feminicide laws led to an increase in the feminicide prosecution rate of between 12% and 21%.