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Mexico Violence: Femicide 'State Of Alert' In Guadalajara

Woman walking in Guadalajara, Mexico
Woman walking in Guadalajara, Mexico

GUADALAJARA — Mexico"s state of Jalisco is experiencing a violent crime wave against women.

Mexico City-based daily El Universal reports that the number of murders of women, also known as femicides, rose to 150 there in 2015, part of a troubling rise in killings since 2009, when only 58 were recorded.

While the notoriously violent northern city of Ciudad Juárez was once the epicenter of gender-based crime, the problem has since spread to Jalisco, the country"s third most-populous state and home to Guadalajara, Mexico's second-largest city.

Jalisco Gov. Aristóteles Sandoval has decreed a state of alert in eight municipalities across the state, including Guadalajara and the popular tourist centers of Zapopan and Puerto Vallarta.

"Not only do they take their lives, but there is extreme violence against their bodies," gender expert Guadalupe Ramos Ponce said of the perpetrators of these crimes against women. "There is a system that promotes and allows misogynist violence."

It's no coincidence that the troubling trend coincides with a decrease in state funding for violence prevention and aid to victims. According to the Jalisco Institute for Women (IJM), austerity policies have led to deep cuts, with prevention funds slashed by 91% from 2012 to 2015.

In the first three months of this year, there have already been 28 murders of women in Jalisco. The state government is responding to the crisis by implementing a search program for missing women and children. The state of alert for violence against women also includes the equivalent of $1.5 million to tackle Jalisco's femicide crisis.

Even as they devise policies to combat the wave of crime, other state governments are facing similar challenges. Nonetheless, Ponce believes the issue runs far deeper. "Violence against women is tolerated," she says. "It is a socially accepted phenomenon."

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Geopolitics

Smaller Allies Matter: Afghanistan Offers Hard Lessons For Ukraine's Future

Despite controversies at home, Nordic countries were heavily involved in the NATO-led war in Afghanistan. As the Ukraine war grinds on, lessons from that conflict are more relevant than ever.

Photo of Finnish Defence Forces in Afghanistan

Finnish Defence Forces in Afghanistan

Johannes Jauhiainen

-Analysis-

HELSINKI — In May 2021, the Taliban took back power in Afghanistan after 20 years of international presence, astronomical sums of development aid and casualties on all warring sides.

As Kabul fell, a chaotic evacuation prompted comparisons to the fall of Saigon — and most of the attention was on the U.S., which had led the original war to unseat the Taliban after 9/11 and remained by far the largest foreign force on the ground. Yet, the fall of Kabul was also a tumultuous and troubling experience for a number of other smaller foreign countries who had been presented for years in Afghanistan.

In an interview at the time, Antti Kaikkonen, the Finnish Minister of Defense, tried to explain what went wrong during the evacuation.

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“Originally we anticipated that the smaller countries would withdraw before the Americans. Then it became clear that getting people to the airport had become more difficult," Kaikkonen said. "So we decided last night to bring home our last soldiers who were helping with the evacuation.”

During the 20-year-long Afghan war, the foreign troop presence included many countries:Finland committed around 2,500 soldiers,Sweden 8,000,Denmark 12,000 and Norway 9,000. And in the nearly two years since the end of the war, Finland,Belgium and theNetherlands have commissioned investigations into their engagements in Afghanistan.

As the number of fragile or failed states around the world increases, it’s important to understand how to best organize international development aid and the security of such countries. Twenty years of international engagement in Afghanistan offers valuable lessons.

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