BUENOS AIRES (TIP): Argentina has passed a bill to increase the prison time for femicide to life sentence, media reports said on November 15. During the voting session late Wednesday, all the 222 lawmakers that were present agreed to classify femicide as aggravated homicide, the reports said.
The life sentence makes the punishment for femicide in Argentina stiffer than for simple homicide, which carries a sentence of eight to 25 years. According to a report by Argentina’s non-governmental organization Casa del Encuentro, there have been 53 known cases of female victims set on fire by their partners or ex-partners since 2010. The issue of femicide was highlighted in that year by the highprofile case of Wanda Taddei, wife of Argentine rock musician Eduardo Vazquez, who died of intense burns after Vazquezset set her on fire following a quarrel.
The criminal was sentenced to 18 years in jail in July. According to Casa del Encuentro, there were 119 femicides in Argentina in the first half of this year, while 2011 saw a total of 282. A local daily quoted ruling party deputy Oscar Albrieu, president of the penal legislation commission, saying that a stiffer penalty does not solve the problem of femicide, but is another tool.
The law defines femicide as “a crime against a woman perpetrated by a man through gender violence,” including such motives as lust, racial, religious or gender hatred based on sexual orientation or gender identity.