A closer look at femicide in Honduras
TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras (Sinclair Broadcast Group) - Many women in Honduras live each day in fear of being attacked and it’s one of the reasons thousands of women have fled that country for the United States.
Now, a new generation inside Honduras is raising its voice to try to put an end to the violence.
My daughter and another lady went out to buy a chicken," he woman told us, "and on the way back home both got shot.
Her daughter, Maryori Carranza, was only 19 years old when she was gunned down in the street with her friend in November 2018. Her mother ran to the scene as soon as she heard.
Maryori’s young son saw the whole thing.
The boy said it was just firecrackers," Maryori's mother said." But the truth is my daughter got shot in her neck and the other lady got shot in the head.
The killing of women, or femicide, has exploded in Honduras. The high-profile murder of the reigning Miss Honduras in 2014 shocked the nation. But violence against women has been rampant here for years.
Every 16 to 18 hours a woman is killed in Honduras," said Marcela Arias.
Photo: Inside Your World
Arias is a young attorney trying to change things. She works at the Center for Women’s Rights and says much of the violence is due to a sexist, machismo culture.
"Femicide, it’s just that,” she told us: it’s killing a woman because of the fact that she’s a woman."
In an effort to help change the culture of old, 25 percent of the new recruits at the National Police Academy are women. And these posters are now going up all over the country. They say, “I do not want to be raped.”
An effort triggered by a recent killing of a young woman refusing to be raped.
We do not want to be raped," Arias said. "Not by our father, by our uncle... the message is clear.
Femicide is one of the reasons many women flee Honduras for the U.S.
“They choose the grueling and dangerous trip all the way to the border, bypassing other Spanish-speaking countries in Central America, because migrants see the United States as the best place,” says Honduran photojournalist Tomas Ayuso.
There is still a belief that there is safety in the United States,” Ayuso said. "And still that belief the United States is a country for immigrants.”
Arias says she’s determined to try to change Honduras so women will feel safe here.
"So that people don’t have the need to leave,” she told us.
Nothing can soothe Maryori's mother’s pain or the pain of her grandson. "He asks about his mom, she said, and I just tell him she’s watching over him from heaven and she loves him very much."