Peru Establishes Crime Of Femicide

By Dialogo
November 28, 2011

Following a wave of crime against women, Peru introduced the crime of femicide — the killing of women by men — into its penal code.

Women’s Affairs Minister Aida García Naranjo said at least 73 women were murdered by their male partners in 2011, and 123 in 2010.

Femicide covers murders committed by lovers, boyfriends, live-in partners, fiances and former partners. It is considered an aggravating circumstance in a homicide and is punished with a minimum of 15 years in prison, she said.

According to prosecutors, the main motives for femicide are jealousy and the victim’s refusal to begin a romance. Victims are most commonly knifed, suffocated, beaten or shot dead.

Peru is the sixth country in Latin America to include femicide in its penal code. The other countries include Mexico, Guatemala, Chile and Colombia.

The highest profile current case of femicide in Peru is that of Dutchman Joran Van der Sloot, accused of murdering a 21 year-old Peruvian woman in May 2010.

Van der Sloot initially pleaded guilty, but then claimed that his confession was extorted. He then said he killed Flores under extreme emotional anger after she accessed files about a missing woman Natalee Holloway, on his computer.

Van der Sloot remains the lead suspect in the disappearance of Holloway, a U.S. tourist who was 18 when she went missing on the island of Aruba in 2005.