1653683721 Helena Monzon Silence killed my sister and is killing women

Helena Monzón: “Silence killed my sister and is killing women in Mexico”

Helena Monzon Silence killed my sister and is killing women

Helena Monzón has been lost in a nightmare for five days. Her older sister Cecilia Monzón, a prominent lawyer known in Puebla for her work for women’s rights, has just been killed. Just five days ago, the little sister watched the final of the Women’s Champions League in Turin (Italy) between Barcelona and Lyon. Being there, at the stadium, at a game played by women made him proud and reminded him of his sister. She, four years older despite having just turned 38, always defended her when they called a “tomboy” as a little girl for wanting to play soccer. “It’s always been like that, he defended equality,” says Monzón, 33.

He pressed the call button on family chat, but Cecilia didn’t answer. Helena believes this was the same moment two gunmen on a motorcycle murdered her sister in broad daylight in Cholula, Puebla. It didn’t matter that there were witnesses and cameras. Monzón was shot dead in her car while the assassins fled. There are no arrests yet.

When the little sister found out what had happened to the older sister, she said she gritted her teeth and threw herself on the ground, and silence rushed through her like a blow that leaves you stunned. After fleeing with his parents and other relatives, he arrived in Puebla for his sister’s funeral and to take care of his nephew, a four-year-old boy who was recently orphaned and whom he affectionately calls “el peque”. . “Yesterday I had to tell her that her mother passed away. It’s affecting him too.” It’s another of the struggles he’s having now. Monzón wants to adopt his nephew and take him to Spain, the country where he lives. “If I stay on my feet, it’s because I have hope that I can leave this half channeled [la investigación del feminicidio]Get rid of this little boy and give him the life he deserves.”

As these dark and cold days pass, Helena Monzón has watched the unfolding case of her sister, who has risen to the highest echelons not only of state government but also of the federal government led by Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

The woman, who is also a lawyer, has continued to call for an early investigation into the murder of the woman and respected the actions of the local public prosecutor’s office. Keep quiet about any details that might pertain to the case. “We had a meeting with the Femicide Investigation Unit and we spoke to the Attorney General,” he says. The visible face of the family at the moment says that trust does not allow degrees, “it happens or it doesn’t happen,” he repeats several times. “If I see something not working in this DA’s office, I will denounce it the same way my sister denounced it. In the meantime, I’m giving them a rather generous opportunity to do their job.” Prosecutors are currently analyzing the activist’s cell phone in case it could reveal valuable information.

Despite living far away, the two women had a great relationship. They had just spent a few weeks together between London and Barcelona. “She was my motor,” says Helena with deep pain and pauses painfully at the other end of the line. His sister complained daily about the machismo and inaction permeating the Mexican authorities and judiciary. “He explained to me how his work worked, how the legal practice worked in the country. Luckily, that gives me an instinct to understand what’s going on,” she says with conviction.

Cecilia Monzón had received multiple death threats and requested protection from the authorities. These were never granted. Her complaints of sexist violence and gender-based political violence put her in the crosshairs of power, machismo and patriarchy in Puebla. Therefore, there are still many open fronts in the case and the authorities are not ruling out any line of investigation. Neither does Helena Monzon. The older sister had reported her son’s father, PRI politician Javier López Zavala, Interior Minister during Mario Marín’s government between 2005 and 2011, for desertion and non-payment of alimony; PRI leader Jorge Estefan Chidiac for forging his signature in the election process; Puebla businessman and politician Manlio López Contreras for gender-based political violence; former local MP José Juan Espinosa for harassment; and Cholula Mayor Luis Alberto Arriaga for gender-based political violence and unfair dismissal.

This Thursday, the Secretary of State for Federal Security, Ricardo Mejía, said that the authorities had “very solid elements” for the prosecution of those responsible for the murder of women. In a country with 95% impunity and more than 10 women murdered a day, it’s difficult to catch the perpetrators of a crime, and even harder to find those who paid for that bullet to be fired. The thought leaders. Five days after the attack, Cecilia Monzón’s sister has no doubt that the murder was commissioned. “It wasn’t an attack, they shot him in the back. My sister saw that she was being shot at and made a turn, which means everything happened very quickly, but she realized that something was happening,” she explains.

Both women have dual citizenship. Mexican on my mother’s side and Spanish on my father’s side. The Spanish government has condemned the murder and recognized Monzón’s courage and commitment as a defender of women, while the Spanish embassy supports and accompanies the family. “They made me feel like a protected citizen, although I know I’m exposed every time I speak, and I know they’ve been in touch with the authorities to find out how the investigation is going.” , says the lawyer. The European Union representation in the country and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights have also commented: “The death of Ms Monzón shows once again the worrying level of violence and intimidation faced by many human rights defenders in Mexico”, they explained in a statement.

Adding to the international support are expressions of affection from the legal profession, feminist groups and people who knew Cecilia Monzón for her career as a politician and as a women’s advocate. Puebla is the sixth state in the country with the most calls for help over sexist violence, according to official figures, and ranks 11th for the number of femicides, with a total of seven cases registered this year. Between January and March of this year, 1,094 calls to 911 related to sexist and domestic violence were recorded in the state.

A week before Monzón’s death, he wrote a message from his Twitter account. “[Los desaparecidos y desaparecidas] They are not media [sus madres] They’re not famous, their kids weren’t, so they go into the archives. It feels awful watching these marches go by or when you accompany them. I wish the state could be more empathetic.” Now those words hover like a premonition over the Cecilia Monzón case. “Silence killed my sister and kills Mexican women. We don’t need a minute’s silence, we need to make noise, the noise Cecilia made,” says her sister.

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