Spontaneous protests took place across Spain on Friday to reject gender-based violence, after the body of a six-year-old girl named Olivia was found by search teams on the seabed off the Canary Island from Tenerife. Olivia and her one-year-old sister Anna have been missing since April and were reportedly killed by their father, Tomás Gimeno. The suspect in the case called the girl’s mother on the day of the disappearance to tell her that she would never see the girls again.
The center of Santa Cruz de Tenerife saw around 800 people protesting on Friday evening. “We are sad, we are outraged,” said Saray and Verónica, two law students present. A few kilometers from the square, the ngeles Alvariño ship continued to search for Anna’s body. The majority of those who came out to express their revulsion at the murders were young women.
In the week of May 17 alone, five women were killed in cases of gender-based violence in Spain. One of these victims was pregnant, while a child also died in such an incident. Since that day, more than half of the total gender-based violence killings in 2021 have taken place so far. Since 2013, 41 children have been killed and 1,096 women have lost their lives since 2003 in such incidents.
We need feminist education from an early age to combat this violence, because these men are not crazy or sick, they are healthy children of the patriarchy
Protester Marta Carramiñana
Protesters were pressured to take to the streets after Olivia and Anna died, and in support of their mother, Beatriz. But also for Rocío Caíz, 17, killed by her ex-boyfriend, with whom she had a four-month-old baby. Her killer massacred her in Estepa, Seville, then went to sleep one night. A few days later, Thursday evening, he confessed to the murder.
“They are murdering us and we want to stay alive,” said Marta Carramiñana, 31, a member of the Feminist Movement of Madrid and the 8-M Women’s Day movement. These are just two of dozens of organizations that channeled the anger seen on social media in Friday’s protests. “We need a feminist education from an early age to fight this violence, because these men are not crazy or sick, they are healthy children of the patriarchy,” she explained.
Thousands of women took to the streets of Spanish capitals but also of small towns and villages. In Madrid, around 2,000 people braved the rain to demonstrate in the center of Puerta del Sol. The crowd was mostly women, but there were also men and children. “I am really in pain,” said Inés Monroy, 67, who carried a sign in a plastic folder saying, “Rocio, Olivia, Anna. When will he stop? How many will there be?”
In Seville, Andalusia, an improvised altar was created where the women left candles. At the other end of the country, in La Coruña, in Galicia, Pilar, 80, led the demonstration. “I divorced in 1988 because of psychological violence and I suffered from the hypocrisy of society,” she explained. “I even stopped confessing because the priest told me I had to put up with it. I don’t think we’ve evolved. We have [far-right party] Vox, who wants women to come home.
In Barcelona, around 600 people came out to protest according to local police, shouting slogans such as: “Feminists are here! Most were young people, like Luca, an 18-year-old resident. “It’s outrageous, all the deaths so far this year. It’s a scandal, ”she said.
In recent months, the issue of gender violence has occupied a prominent place in public discourse. Media personality Rocío Carrasco, for example, has appeared on television to detail the abuse she claims to have suffered from her ex-husband. Also this week, flamenco singer Diego El Cigala was arrested after being denounced for physical and psychological violence by his partner. “Women always want money,” he told reporters upon his release. Her remarks sparked outrage at a time of widespread outrage over the case of missing girls in Tenerife.
“We are not dying, they are killing us!” came the songs in San Sebastián, in the Basque Country, on Friday evening. The protest ended with cries of “not one more [victim]”And with calls for justice. In Valencia, more than a thousand people responded to the spontaneous demonstration. Among them, José Fernández, a 21-year-old student. “We have come to express our solidarity and denounce feminicides,” he explained. “It’s gender-based violence. “
With a ratio of: Guillermo Vega (Tenerife), Margot Molina (Seville), Javier Arroyo (Grenade), Marta Pinedo (Madrid), Carlos garfella (Barcelona), Caridad Bermeo (Santiago), Sonia vizoso (La Coruna), Mikel Ormazabal (San Sebastian), Nacho sanchez (Malaga), Ferran Bono (Valence) and Juan Navarro (Valladolid).
english version by Simon Hunter.