Si no vuelvo
This project was supported by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting and is a joint project with writer Karen Naundorf.
Ursula Bahillo could still be alive. She had filed several charges against her ex-boyfriend, a police officer. But no protective measures were taken. He stabbed her to death on February 8, 2021. After Ursula's murder, protesters took to the streets throughout Argentina to denounce the heinous crime and the fatal failure of the authorities.
Ursula's murder is no exception. Since 2015 women in Argentina have been shouting "Ni una menos" ("not one more"), spurring a movement throughout Latin America and beyond.
But, the number of femicides is not decreasing: In 2020, a woman was killed every 29 hours in Argentina, with 212 children losing their mothers. “It is indeed another pandemic to attack,” states Florencia Raes in a 2020 United Nations report. A quarter of the murdered women had previously filed charges against their killers. 12% of the murderers were members of the security forces, according to the Observatorio MuMaLa. Another NGO even assumes in 1 out of 5 cases that the murderer belonged to the security forces.
Si no vuelvo, rompan todo! - If I don't come back, destroy everything, was, what Ursula wrote on twitter, a few days before her violent death. But sccording to her mother, Patricia, she didn't mean smashed windows or burning cars - she was talking about the structures, about a justice system that doesn't act quickly enough to save the lives of women, about police officers who protect and cover each other and about machismo, that is killing women not only in Argentina, but every day, everywhere on a daily base.