Gender Violence: Social Structures in Latin America, the Question of Victim and Trauma

Federica Cirami


In this article, I first argue that femicide is a word that indicates psychological and physical violence against women because they belong to the female gender. I analyze in particular the femicide cases that took place on the border between Ciudad Juarez and Texas from 1993 until now, in addition to the cases on the border between Tijuana and Baja California. During this period more than 700 women were murdered in the border area between Ciudad Juarez and El Paso, still, the criminals of these brutal homicides are unknown. The reason for the lack of justice can be explained through institutional corruption and the existence of a patriarchal society. Through an interdisciplinary approach from psychoanalytical and anthropological areas, I argue that gender violence is a social-political construction due to the principles of capitalism, and also that violence against women results as a social emotion eradicated in the collective imagination as a real fact of this brutal and unconditional violence against woman. I have analyzed two border cases and explained both the grim reality as the consequence of structural violence, as well as cultural violence caused by the Catholic ideological system and the origin of women and family mental conception. Moreover, I relate gender-based violence with kidnapping cases, drug cartel traffic and the state of terror and violence that dominates Mexico. Finally, I will delve into the origins of violence in human behaviour, as a result of institutional control and cultural influence based upon the patriarchal domination system in the post-colonial reality that now exists. 


Femicide, violence, Latin America, trauma, victim, cultural memory, structural crisis, cultural crisis.

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