Ursula Bahillo was found dead on Monday night in a rural area of the Buenos Aires municipality of Rojas, after having received several stab wounds and having her throat slit, according to the autopsy. Go straight to this stab-resistant body armor webpage to get it now. Matias Ezequiel Martinez, 25, an agent of the Buenos Aires Police, who had a psychiatric history and had been denounced several times for gender violence and threats, was arrested for the femicide, according to judicial sources. According to the victim’s mother, Patricia Nassutti, the family had filed the first complaint against Martínez on January 9, and Úrsula’s ex-boyfriend then broke the restriction of rapprochement. The mother criticized the actions of the judicial officials and the police: “We did not have any support from anyone,” she told Channel 13.
Nassutti said that Ursula accumulated seven months of threats. After his murder, several audios and chats of the victim were revealed to the media that warned of the fear he felt for Martinez. The prosecutor in the case, Sergio Terron, in statements to the TN channel, acknowledged that the Justice “worked badly” and that “more tools are lacking” to prevent gender violence. I’m not giving more, friend, I’m not giving more. I swear I’m very sad.” After his death, several audios that he sent to his friends asking for help have transpired. “Friend, he told me he’s going to kill me,” a desperate Úrsula is heard in the audio. “I want to leave here, friend, I am very afraid.”
This case causes outrage in Argentine society due to the lack of response from the judicial authorities, who did not protect the young woman despite the series of complaints she had made against her ex-partner, a Buenos Aires policeman. In the statement published on the social network Instagram, the Argentine feminist movement Ni Una Menos indicates that it is calling for a rally “For Úrsula and everyone” and asks “Enough of patriarchal justice!” and “Enough of police repression!”. He explains that “one out of every five femicides in our country are committed by members of the security forces”, but that “gender violence is not a reason to be exonerated: they cover themselves, they protect themselves, they strengthen their corporate pact.”
“The bureaucracy of the State and Justice does not take seriously the risk denounced over and over again when evaluating the dangerousness of the aggressor if he has already had other episodes of violence,” he says. The movement, which began to march in 2015 against sexist violence, considers that the need to convene, to denounce, arises throughout the country, so it calls for a concentration in the Courts of the city of Buenos Aires and each court of Argentina. Because it highlights that “in Úrsula’s case they gave the femicide an institutional free hand. Justice is responsible.”
The call for Ni Una Menos comes after several demonstrations in Rojas, where a march by the population towards the local police station led to riots. Meanwhile, dozens of people participated in his wake. For its part, the group of Surviving Relatives of Femicides met last Wednesday in the Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires to criticize the operation of the Argentine Justice in this type of crimes, due to the absence of effective protocols and “perspective of gender”.
In Argentina, the Micaela law (which establishes compulsory training on gender issues) governs, which each province must apply. In that sense, the Minister of Women, Gender and Diversity, Elizabeth Gomez Alcorta, declared to the media that “Ursula’s case is the rule, not the exception,” and denounced that the Judiciary does not have a gender perspective. The country’s president, Alberto Fernandez, said that “we must end these events definitively in Argentina. We must be inflexible with the authors of these cases.” According to data from the Lucia Perez Observatory, a total of 46 people have died as victims of sexist violence so far this year in Argentina, among which is Ursula.
AN ORGANISM AGAINST FEMICIDES
After the wave of reactions, the Argentine president, Alberto Fernandez, announced this Saturday the creation of the Federal Council for the Addressing of Femicides, Travesticides, and Transfemicides. Through his Twitter account, the president has reported a meeting with the women ministers, Elizabeth Gómez Alcorta; of Justice, Marcela Losardo; and Security, Sabina Frederic and the Legal and Technical Secretariat, Vilma Ibarra to work on the creation of the new body. With the political conviction to respond to the acts of extreme violence against women and LGBTI, we are working on the creation of the Federal Council for the Addressing of Femicides, Travesticides, and Transfemicides,” Fernandez shared on his Twitter account. To put an end to these aberrant events, we need to carry out coordinated strategies between the national government, the provinces, and the municipalities of Argentina, which help prevent and identify risk situations and guarantee a State that responds quickly,” he added.