California prisoners call for end to machismo and femicide in Mexico

VICE News investigates the murder of women in Mexico and meets relatives of the victims who continue to fight for justice from authorities who seem incapable or unwilling to help.

From: Prisoners at California Correctional Institution (CCI), P.O. Box 1905, Tehachapi, CA 93581

To: Mr. Manuel Lopez Obrador, President of the Mexican Republic, Plaza de La Constitucion, S/N Centro Cuahutemoc, Ciudad de Mexico, Mexico 06066

Issue: Femicide in Mexico

Dear President of the United States of Mexico Manuel Lopez Obrador, 

It is a pleasure to be able to send our most sincere salutes to you and all of your honorable administration. After this short salute, we pass to the following matter.

The co-nationals and foreigners imprisoned found out that in Mexico, there have been 2,000 female homicides, all of them within the first eight months of this year. We discussed this issue in our self-help programs and decided to write you this letter. It has as its purpose to alleviate a little the harm that we have caused society.

We have been victims and aggressors – because of our culture, where machismo has been inculcated. We want to share our humble point of view and make a suggestion. We have taken very bad decisions, but we truly wish to vindicate ourselves. 

The problem exists due to teachings that have been passed from generation to generation. The problem of domestic violence is so rooted in our society that if we don’t put control measures and educate, we will be condemning thousands more to death with our silence.

Suggestions

A program that could make the difference would be an education for the youth and young adults – specifically, in their dealings with the opposite sex. This could succeed if the kid is taught from an early age and throughout his youth an education according to his age. The teachings could be made during the same month every year; until they become custom and habit.

The Mexican television can play a very important role by using commercials, movies and documentaries. The success of such a program can be an example for other countries to adopt their own domestic violence programs. 

With education, we can get our race out of darkness, ignorance and machismo. Thank you very much for your time dedicated to reading this humble letter.

Very truly yours,

Martin Soto and the 33 other signatories shown below

Note from Martin Soto

Some of my fellow slaves were too scared to sign it. They surely have been broken down. A few said, “Let’s pray for things to change!” Others were too negative: “Nothing is going to change,” they said.

I believe that those who did not want to sign it are seimming in ignorance. The sad part is that they don’t want to do nothing about this sickness. They have brown too comfortable to do anything about it.

Send our brother some love and light: Martin Soto, K-06764, CCI, C1-125, P.O. Box 1905, Tehachapi CA 93581. 

Demanding no more femicides, 3,000 women march to the Zocalo in Mexico City on Nov. 25, 2019. – Photo: Mexico News Daily
Women place pink crosses at a makeshift monument against femicide with names of the states of Mexico, during a protest against femicide and violence against women, in Mexico City, Mexico March 24, 2019. – Photo: Reuters