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Ni una menos protesters
Ni una menos protesters

The black-on-pink drawing of a wide-eyed girl covering half her face with an open hand seems, at first glance, to be too cute, too pretty to convey the horror implanted in so many people's minds by the ghastly gang-rape and murder of an Argentine teenager.

And yet in recent days, the stylish image and the unconscionable crime have become intrinsically linked in Argentina and elsewhere in Latin America. Facebook users have responded en masse to an online campaign inviting them to use the drawing as their profile image. The online campaign has helped build outrage that has prompted Wednesday's national women's strike and streets demonstrations in Buenos Aires and dozens of other cities, Argentina's La Nación reports.

The image and the movement share the same slogan: Ni una menos ("not one less') and the same demand: that people wake up to the problem of violence against women.

The #NiUnaMenos movement has actually existed for some time now, and not just in Argentina. But it has received a tremendous amount of momentum in wake of the Oct. 8 murder of 16-year-old Lucía Pérez, in the coastal city of Mar del Plata. The viral success of the drawing, now the movement's unofficial emblem, has provided even more visibility.

The artist behind the now iconic image, Romina Lerda, is also receiving a sudden burst of attention, with write-ups in several national newspapers. The 39-year-old is originally from the province of Cordoba, in central Argentina, but now lives in Buenos Aires, La Nacíon reports. Her "Ni una menos" image is a modified version of an earlier work. She says she's "proud to play a role in the worldwide movement," which she describes as both "noble and committed."

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[*Assyrian, Syria]

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