This year, cases of femicides of babies and girls increased in Bolívar State in southern Venezuela

This year, cases of femicides of babies and girls increased in Bolívar State in southern Venezuela





The ‘Ateneo Ecológico del Orinoco’ (Orinoco Ecological Atheneum) is a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) that has been monitoring the issue of femicides in Bolívar State for 11 consecutive years through the ‘Observatorio Guayanés de Violencia Basada en Género’ (Guayanés Observatory for Gender-Based Violence).

By Pableysa Ostos/Corresponsalí

Miguel Vincenti and Nuglenys Hernández, Directors of the Orinoco Ecological Atheneum, pointed out in their annual report that although femicides decreased by 57% compared to 2022, of the 12 femicides registered in 2023, 33% were girls between five days old and two years old. “As an alarming fact about this, we have concluded that they have been beaten to death by their parents and stepfathers.”

“Caroní, with 58% of the cases, is the municipality that leads the State in murders of women. This situation is constant, and for this period the parish with the highest record of cases is Unare with 43% of the cases,” the report details.

Meanwhile, El Callao and Sifontes are positioned in second place for femicides, each with 17% of the cases.

“These municipalities have remained in the top places for femicides for three consecutive years. It is encouraging that in ‘Angostura del Orinoco’, Cedeño and Piar municipalities, with historical high rates, no femicides have been recorded so far in 2023,” Vincenti stated through a press release.

Although incidents against women have decreased, according to monitoring carried out by the organization, the state of Bolívar continues to lead as the eastern state with the most cases. “By 2023, we doubled the number of femicides of Anzoátegui and surpassed Sucre by 34%. It is important to note that there is an unquantifiable under-reporting of cases that are never known, this is mainly related to the ‘mining axis’ and the situation of at least 8 women reported by their relatives as missing in mining areas since January of this year,” the organization highlighted.

Vicenti pointed out that: “in 2023 there have been cases of obstetric violence, where women and their babies have died, these deaths do not enter the records, although relatives demand investigations to clarify these events.”

Mental health and death of girls:

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that an estimated 1 billion children between the ages of 2 and 17 worldwide will be victims of physical, sexual, emotional abuse or neglect in 2022.

In Venezuela, CECODAP and RedHNNA coalition have warned of the rise in cases of violence against children and adolescents (NNA) since 2020 as reported through their organizations press releases. Although there are no official figures, the ‘judicialization’ of cases of violence against children and adolescents, especially everything in the type of sexual abuse, has increased considerably as post-pandemic effects, the press releases stated.

Nuglenys Hernández declared that: “the cases of murders of the babies had at their base a mental alteration of their caregivers, parents and stepfathers. The established pattern is of men who cannot stand girls crying and beat them to death. Mental health professionals point out that these types of cases of nervous breakdowns have skyrocketed as post-pandemic effects. This phenomenon must be incorporated into violence prevention protocols.”