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I am Mar Centenera, editor of EL PAÍS in Buenos Aires. This week we want to tell you about the beginning of an emblematic trial in which the prosecution offices of three Latin American countries have worked for the first time: Argentina, Brazil and Nicaragua. This is the one who judges the Brazilian actor Juan Darthés for the alleged rape of the Argentine actress Thelma Fardín in 2009, when both were co-stars in the youth series Patito Feo. She was 16 years old; he 45. Fardín first denounced him publicly. Shortly after, before the Nicaraguan Justice because she accuses him of having sexually abused her in her hotel room on the last day of the series’ last tour.
Darthés fled to Brazil because that country does not have an extradition treaty with Nicaragua, but the Brazilian justice took the case, it considered that there was sufficient evidence to bring him to trial. On the first day, last Tuesday, Fardín made a virtual statement for five hours from the Special Prosecutor’s Office on violence against women.
“They ask the victims to go to Justice and sometimes it is not said that it is very difficult for Justice to listen to us. If you are not behind the process, Justice falls. Now is the time to see what justice we have in Latin America, ”Fardín told me in an interview on the eve of the trial. “It would be very important for justice to give a restorative response, because there is a large part of society saying that it believes the victims and it is important that it has a counterpart in justice,” added the actress, now 29 years old.
Fardín was encouraged to denounce after the accusations of three other actresses against Darthés, a very popular actor in Argentina for his roles as a heartthrob and father of a family. One of them, Calu Dignity Rivero, testified against the defendant this Wednesday for four hours. “In this trial there is not only Thelma, or only the actresses who were able to talk about the sexual abuse of Juan Darthés, there are also those actresses who could not speak and all the women who for many years have been fighting against child sexual abuse: teachers, mothers, lawyers, family members, at the service of this terrible fight, ”Rivero’s lawyer, Raquel Hermida Leyenda, told local media.
In Argentina, Fardín’s public complaint uncovered a pot. Under the label #NoNosCallamosMas, dozens of women in Argentina began to report abusive situations for the first time in their lives that they had silenced out of shame and fear of not being believed. Public testimonies multiplied and also requests for help: calls to report child abuse grew 1,200% in the days after Fardín’s heartbreaking testimony.
As in other feminist struggles, Argentina was a pioneer in Latin America in reflecting what was already happening in other parts of the world, such as the #MeToo born in the United States after the complaints against the producer Harvey Weinstein and the collective cry “Sister, I believe you ”In Spain to support the victim of a herd rape at the Sanfermines festival and others who reported sexual abuse afterward. As the months passed, other countries in the region were added, such as Mexico, Chile and Venezuela, among others.
In Mexico, the trigger was the complaints against the writer Herson Barona in March 2019. Soon, other writers were suspected and the hashtag #Metooscritoresmexicanos was born to receive complaints. The initiative from the world of literature was replicated in the fields of journalism, cinema, academia, advertising, and the legal profession, until there were more than ten professional fields.
In Chile, the song of the Lastesis collective A rapist in your way it became a feminist anthem inside and outside the country against sexual abuse. “And the fault was not mine, or where I was, or how I dressed,” says the lyrics of this song released for the first time during the Chilean social protests in November 2019 and later made their own by women from countries as far away as Turkey and Lebanon.
These are our recommended articles of the week:
The story of the 11-year-old Bolivian woman who sought to access a safe abortion after being raped is an example of the re-victimization suffered by those who suffer sexual violence in that country.
In the country with the most femicides in the region and where abortion is prohibited under any circumstance, the change of government renews the hopes of women.
The journalist Anabel Hernández talks with the journalist Elena Reina about her new book ‘Emma and the other ladies of the narco’ in which she enters the most intimate sphere of the drug lords and breaks with the myth of the all-powerful drug lord.
The Mexicans Gabriela Warkentin, Marion Reimers and Alma Delia Murillo speak about discrimination against women. All three have managed to make their voices resonate without breaking in the public debate.
1,800 women of menstrual age live in the world and the period manifests itself in so many ways and is so little studied that not even the specialists are completely clear about what a “normal period” means.
And to say goodbye, some suggestions:
🛹 Women to follow:
Imilla Skate: This week, thanks to the work of the Brazilian photographer Luisa Dörr in EL PAÍS we have met this group of fascinating Bolivian women who through sports —the skateboarding– and the dress of the Cochabamba cholitas seek to combat the prejudices that still persist against the indigenous population. “We use the pollera of the Bolivian chola with great respect and we value the meaning that each garment carries. We identify with this outfit because we are the daughters and granddaughters of women in skirts ”, says one of the young women in the trailer of a documentary that will premiere in August of next year.
🎧 Three songs:
The Bogota duo Aterciopelados has just released three songs to commemorate the 25N. With Ovaries, Mourner and It is not violated, the Colombian band, with Andrea Echeverri as leader, dedicates its lyrics to the victims of violence. It is not the first time that they have joined the feminist struggle with their music, but this time their songs are also part of an installation in Bogotá in tribute to women who have suffered sexual violence. In the exhibition, Andrea, who in addition to being a singer is a visual artist, presents her work in ceramics: vaginas and ovaries with the names of victims.
💻 An inspiring woman:
Inma Martinez. She is one of the most recognized visionaries in artificial intelligence and digital transformation in the world. His latest work is a book on the future of the automotive industry: smart cars. In this interview with EL PAÍS you can learn more about their investigations.
Thank you very much for joining us and until next Sunday! (If you have been sent this newsletter and want to subscribe to receive it in your email, they can do it here).