The voices of Saray and Verónica, two law students, have been mixed with the cries of indignation of the 800 people who have gathered this Friday in the Plaza de la Candelaria, in the heart of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, to protest against the sexist violence and the murder of Anna and Olivia, Beatriz Zimmermann’s two daughters, at the hands of her father and ex-husband, Tomás Gimeno. “We are sad, we are outraged,” said the young women. Like waves, the volume of the slogans and the clapping that accompanied the slogans rose and fell: such as “they are not good parents: they are abusers” or “vicarious violence, patriarchal violence”. A few kilometers north of the square, almost in sight, the ship Angeles Alvariño He was still looking at the bottom of the sea for Anna’s body, after finding Olivia, six years old, on Thursday. Most of the people who have come to show their rejection of the murders are women, especially young people.
Photogallery: Demonstrations against gender violence, in images
Tenerife turned into the epicenter of pain and anger over the murder of the girls, the outrage has ignited since Thursday night immediately on mobile phones, in conversations, on social networks, where a spontaneous call was created to focus on all city councils in Spain. Only the week of May 17, five women were murdered, one of them pregnant, and a child. Since that day there have been more than half of the deaths due to sexist violence so far in 2021. And looking back, there are 41 fewer children since 2013, 1,096 fewer women since 2003. The clamor was for Olivia, Anna and for his mother Beatriz, whom a whole country accompanies in her unimaginable pain. Also, by Rocío Caíz, killed by her ex-boyfriend at only 17 years old with whom she had a four-month-old baby. Her murderer dismembered her in Estepa, in Seville, and then she went to sleep. Days later, on Thursday night, the murderer’s confession emerged, a few hours after the discovery of Olivia’s body.
“They are murdering us and we want each other alive,” says Marta Carramiñana, 31, a member of the Feminist Movement of Madrid and 8-M. They are two of the dozens of organizations that have channeled in a few hours that anger that was seen on the networks. “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,” he explains. Marisa Soleto, responsible for the Women Foundation, confesses that she feels “desolate and powerless before judges who only withdraw visits to abusers in 6% of cases.” Her organization manages scholarships to help orphans of sexist violence: there are already 311 children without a mother since 2013. She also joined the mobilizations. “What key must we touch for the legislation to become effective?” The outrage was also in the words of Sara Díaz, from the Nosotras Same organization, which has been fighting for equality in Madrid for 30 years: “We are very angry because the judiciary still does not believe women when they say they mistreat their children and that they can assassinate them ”.
Thousands of women have taken to the streets in large capitals and small towns. In Madrid, the rain cleared before two thousand people gathered at Puerta del Sol. Most were women, although there were also some men and few children, as in other cities. Inés Monroy, 67, held up a sheet of plastic sheathed where it read in purple ink: “Rocio, Olivia, Anna. Even when! How many! ”. “I’m very hurt,” she acknowledged as she dried her tears. “They were two little girls who were beginning to live and have been victims of this sexist violence,” said this retiree, who has been demonstrating for feminism for years. “I only know that we have to disengage this machismo from our lives,” he added. Leticia Sierra, 38, and Ana Isabel García, 43, have approached the demonstration dressed in black, like most of the attendees, in a sign of mourning: “Today we are here for Beatriz and Rocío Caíz, but also for all, because they are killing us, ”says Sierra.
In Seville, they have set up a makeshift altar where different women came one after another to light candles. “Woman, sister, if he hits you, he doesn’t love you,” half a thousand people chanted in the Andalusian capital. At the other end of the country, in A Coruña, Pilar, 80, has been in the forefront of the rally: “I got divorced in 1988 due to psychological abuse and suffered the hypocrisy of society. I even stopped going to confession because the priest told me I had to put up with it. I don’t think we have advanced; Vox is there, and what he wants is for the woman to go back into the house ”. “Rebellion, disobedience against their violence,” chanted a hundred people in Santiago, most of them young girls and families. In Barcelona, according to the Guardia Urbana, there have been about 600 people, concentrated in Plaça de Sant Jaume, shouting “here we are the feminists.” Most of them were young, like Luca, a Barcelona woman who had just turned 18: “It is a scandal, with all the deaths that we have this year. It’s savage, ”he explained with his mother.
The fuse lit on Thursday night when she knew the most extreme hopelessness, when all of Spain knew that there would be no future for Olivia. Even Queen Letizia has joined the clamor this Friday: “It is difficult this morning to avoid the expression of pain and sadness over the murder of minors.” The Minister of Equality, Irene Montero, has admitted that she regrets not having been able to “arrive on time” in the case of Tenerife. And he has claimed for the mother of the girls, for Juana Rivas from Granada and for Irune Costumero [inmersa esta semana en un juicio a cuatro funcionarios en Bilbao que le quitaron a su hija esgrimiendo el falso síndrome de alienación parental] “The support of the whole of society” but also “feminist justice”.
In Granada, the call has also served to show the rejection of Juana Rivas’ admission to prison, who this Friday declared through her lawyer: “I am going to enter prison. Never in my life would I have thought something like this would happen to us. I think that this sentence is mainly for my children ”. About 300 people approached Granada’s Plaza del Carmen, where the Town Hall is located. Especially women and young people of both sexes. “The assault on minors is the most brutal expression of inequality,” Mailo Sánchez, of the Espacio Feminismo Unitario platform, said from the plaza. At the same time, in the Plaza de la Constitución in Malaga, around 300 people gathered: “Enough of the femicides, let’s put an end to sexist violence,” said the main motto.
For a few months, the presence of sexist violence in the public discourse has intensified. It is more visible, with its effects, its destruction, but also the fight against it. Millions of people have seen Rocío Carrasco on television for weeks relate the mistreatment to which she claims her ex-husband has subjected her, and while she did so, concepts have become popular until now handled by experts in gender violence, such as gas lights. —The psychological violence that is less seen and that pierces the self-esteem like a Malaysian drop—, or vicarious violence, that in which the abuser kills the woman while attacking her children, as has happened in Tenerife. “You are not alone,” Rocío Carrasco said to the battered women in the last chapter. This same week, another famous person, the flamenco singer Diego El Cigala, was denounced for continued physical and psychological abuse by his partner. “Women always want money,” he said as he left the police station. His words caused outrage that added to the previous rage and erupted with anger at the case of the girls from Tenerife.
Placido Domingo’s return to Spain with honors also had an angry response from feminists. The tenor was received on June 9 with a three-minute ovation of cheers and compliments on his return to the stage at the hands of the Red Cross, after more than a year and a half without singing in Spain due to accusations of sexual harassment made by a score of women in the United States. The tenor asked for forgiveness and assumed “completely responsibility” for what happened after the accusations. The audience of the National Auditorium asked him for five encores.
“All our rejection of sexist violence and vicarious violence that some continue to deny in our country,” said the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, in a business forum from Costa Rica this Friday. Because the echo of sexist violence reverberates everywhere but also the noise of those who despise it or the furious response that denies even its existence. The far-right party Vox, with a high presence in Congress and in some regional parliaments, has made the denial of the existence of gender violence and the promise to eradicate the laws that combat it one of its flags.
“We are not dying, they are killing us,” the mobilized people in front of the San Sebastián City Hall shouted during the rally, mostly young women with feminist flags. “For Olivia, for Juana Rivas, for Irune Costumero …”, they have chanted in this concentration organized by the House of Women of San Sebastián. The protest has ended with insistent shouts of “not one less” and to demand justice. In Valladolid, winds of people have gathered in the Plaza Mayor. There were many women, but also men and families with children. In Valencia, more than a thousand people have attended the spontaneous call of the networks. Among them, José Fernández, a 21-year-old student: “We have come to show solidarity and denounce the femicides. It is sexist violence ”.
With information from: Guillermo Vega (Tenerife), Margot Molina (Seville), Javier Arroyo placeholder image (Grenade), Marta Pinedo (Madrid), Charity Bermeo (Santiago), Sonia Vizoso (A Coruña), Mikel Ormazabal (Saint Sebastian), Nacho sanchez (Malaga), Ferrán Bono (Valencia) and Juan Navarro (Valladolid).