Mexico jails 5 men 700 years each over femicide

Mexico’s Supreme Court has sentenced five men in Northern Mexico to an unprecedented 697 years in prison each for the gender-driven killing of 11 women.

The prosecutor said the sentence was the longest-ever given for femicide, “killing of women based on their gender and scientific evidence.’’

The prosecutor said the men used ploys to recruit the young women into prostitution and drug distribution.

He added that when the women were no longer useful, the men killed them and threw their bodies in the Navajo Arroyo, in the Valley of Juarez.

He said that in addition to prison sentence of nearly 700 years each, the five men would pay 550,000 dollars in damages to the families of the victims whose bodies were found in 2012.

He said the authorities had prosecuted some of the cases in the past but had not handed down long prison sentences due to ambiguity to prove that the women were killed as a result of their gender.

He said that the high rate of impunity in Mexico, where many crimes go unpunished was also another factor.

The prosecutor said that the Supreme Court in March ordered that a case be probed as a femicide for the first time after prosecutors initially labeled it suicide, based on investigation plagued by anomalies.

The National Citizen Femicide Observatory, a coalition of human rights groups, believed that some 3,892 women were murdered in Mexico between 2012 and 2013, but only 16 per cent of cases were investigated as femicide.