Puerto Vallarta reinstalls memorial for female victims of violence after outrage over its unexplained removal

The municipal government of Puerto Vallarta reinstalled the memorial cross for women who were victims of violence, and Mayor Luis Alberto Michel Rodríguez offered a public apology, in an act held this weekend in the Parque de las Mujeres, located on Av. Francisco Medina Ascencio.

In the presence of members of the United Families Against Femicide Collective, Professor Michel said: “Today I am here to look you in the eye and speak to you from the heart, from one human being to another. We are here not only because it is a legal mandate to promote, respect, protect and guarantee the human rights of people, of women, but also because it is our conviction, it is the conviction of Puerto Vallarta, it is the conviction of this local administration”.

He added that to all the women and girls who reside in Puerto Vallarta, “to those who visit us, to each of the relatives of the victims of femicides and to those who are no longer here, I offer a public apology because they removed the crosses of people who were victims of femicide. We are going to work with you, women, we are going to build together an environment where there is security, equality, and respect for your rights, which are the rights of all”.

Professor Michel insisted that “today we reinstall with respect the memorial of the cross in this Parque de las Mujeres, as a symbol of love and unwavering struggle. As an icon that reminds us that justice must prevail and that, as a society, we must say enough to violence and respect the life of every human being. As a husband, as a father, as a son, and as a brother of great women, like each one of you, today I tell you that I will continue working for the right of all of you women, to live without violence, to live free, and to be respected and safe.”.

At the end of his message, he called on our entire society “to join us in this fight, because you should not fight alone, you are not. Your fight is also ours. We also feel your pain. We want them strong, we want them alive. Not one more… not one more!”

The director of the Municipal Institute for Women, Marisela Joya Camacho, highlighted the role of families and groups that fight for access to justice every day and stressed that the memorial represents for families a fight for peace that was taken from them, “the voice of those women who have been deprived of their lives”.

Subsequently, the attendees placed ribbons on the top of the cross with the names of each of the 69 women who have been victims of femicide in Puerto Vallarta, including councilors and municipal officials, as well as the rector of the University Center of the Coast, Dr. Jorge Tellez Lopez. The first ribbon, with the name of Lucero Fonseca López, a femicide that occurred on October 17, 2012, was read and placed by the mayor.

Colectivo Familias Unidas contra los Femicides is an organization that accompanies actions by families who are indirect victims of femicides and disappearances of women in the region. In this act, testimonies and messages from relatives of women victims of femicide were also heard.

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