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Original en español. 

A report by Intersecta, Center for Ecumenical Studies, Equis and Data Cívica
2021, with a new translation in June 2023

  • On average, ten women are murdered every day in Mexico – six of them with firearms.
  • Five of every ten murdered trans women had their lives taken with a firearm.
  • In 2015, 24,469 women reported having been injured with a firearm, and slightly more than a million said they had been attacked with a knife or firearm in their community.
  • Armed violence must be addressed from a gender, intersectional, and care perspective that centers the voices of victims, activists, and experts.

The increasing availability of firearms in Mexico has transformed the violence committed against women and people in the LGBTIQ+ community.

It is estimated that 15 million firearms circulate in the country. According to the data collected in the report “Gender violence with firearms in Mexico”, by Intersecta, Data Cívica, EQUIS Justice for Women and the Center for Ecumenical Studies, some of the implications for the lives of women include acts of aggression, attacks and murders.

Currently, firearms play a leading role in the murders of women: in 2006, three out of 10 women lost their lives in this way, now six out of 10; and states, in some Mexican states such as Colima and Guanajuato, that number goes up to eight out of 10. This increase is associated with the transformation of the public security strategy and the intensification of militarization in Mexico since the government of Felipe Calderón.

In the case of people from the LGBTIQ+ community, trans women, who live in vulnerable situations and are involved in sex work, are the ones suffering the most from lethal violence with firearms. In the testimonies collected in the report, victims and activists such as Kenya Cuevas and Natalia Lane share how exposed they are to this type of violence, and talk about the obstacles they face in accessing justice when they experience it.

Armed violence has led to the loss of many lives and generated great suffering. Although it is difficult to perceive the extent of this violence beyond homicides, the available data is not comforting. It shows that firearms have found their way into homes, schools, jobs and communities. And they have upended the lives of many people.

For example, according to the 2016 National Survey on the Dynamics of Household Relationships (Endireh), in 2015 —when the data was collected— 24,469 women reported having suffered an injury by a firearm, and slightly more than one million said they had been attacked with a knife or firearm within their communities.

In this sense, 102,424 women reported attacks with knives or firearms within the family environment — with violence perpetrated by parents, brothers/sisters, extended family or in-laws, among others—; 14,032 in the school space, as well as 42,484 in their work environment. Those who were attacked in their community point out that the perpetrators were strangers.

Armed violence affects not only the people who are shot, but also their families, particularly women and children, who take on, for example, additional care work after the loss of their primary caregivers and providers.

The issue of firearms has been seen from the perspective of foreign policy and public security in general. The organizations Intersecta, Data Cívica, EQUIS Justice for Women and the Center for Ecumenical Studies propose that it also be addressed from a gender, intersectional and care perspective which centers the voices of victims, activists and experts.