While the Gabriela Law was introduced, which typifies femicide, the Chilean president statement unleashed controversy.
Sebastián Piñera, president of Chile in a press conference. / Photo: prensa.presidencia.cl
LatinAmerican Post | Marcela Peñaloza
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Leer en español: Sebastián Piñera: ¿responsabiliza a las mujeres del abuso?
On March 2, in the middle of the presentation of a law that penalizes femicide with 40 years in prison, Chilean President Sebastián Piñera delivered a controversial statement in which he blames women for being abused. In his speech, Piñera said, "sometimes it is not only the will of men to abuse but also the position of women to be abused." "We have to correct the abuser, and we also have to tell the abused person that he cannot allow that to happen and that the entire society will help and support him in denouncing and preventing those events from happening."
Before the statements, the Observatory against sexual harassment published on its Twitter account that “it is intolerable to blame the victim of gender-based violence, even more in the context of the promulgation of the Gabriela Law. It is a statement from ignorance that violates women, especially victims of violence. ”
Inaceptables declaraciones de @sebastianpinera— Observatorio Contra el Acoso - Chile (@ocacchile) March 2, 2020
Es intolerable culpar a la víctima de la violencia de género, más aún en el contexto de la promulgación de la #LeyGabriela. Es una declaración desde la ignorancia que violenta a las mujeres, especialmente a las víctimas de violencia.
In the midst of the new scandal, Piñera was forced to clarify the situation and used his Twitter profile to affirm that “The clear things: I have never said that women can take responsibility. What I said is that many abused women cannot report and do not receive effective and timely protection. ”
Las cosas claras: Jamás he dicho que la mujer pueda tener responsabilidad.Lo que dije es que muchas mujeres abusadas no pueden denunciar y no reciben protección eficaz y a tiempo. Por eso la Ley Gabriela y nuestra política de Tolerancia 0 con todo abuso o violencia contra mujeres— Sebastian Piñera (@sebastianpinera) March 2, 2020
This is not the first time that Piñera makes sexist comments. According to El Tiempo, in 2011, in his first term, during the closing of the 13th edition of the Summit of Heads of State and Government, the president said “Do you know what the difference is between a politician and a lady? When the politician says 'yes', he means 'maybe'; when he says 'maybe', it means 'no', and when he says 'no', it's not political. When a lady says 'no', she means 'maybe'; when he says 'maybe', it means 'yes', and when he says 'yes', he is not a lady ”.
Later, in 2017, when he was doing his presidential campaign, in Linares, Piñera told the following joke: “Well, guys, I just suggested a very entertaining game. It's very simple: all women are thrown to the ground and die, and all of us throw ourselves on top and make ourselves alive. What do you think of boys? ”
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What is the Gabriela Law?
In 2008, Gabriela Alcaíno was killed by her boyfriend. In honor of this woman, the Gabriela Law was enacted that extends the criminalization of femicides in Chile. According to El Tiempo, the law "sanctions up to 40 years in prison for the murder of a woman who is in a dating relationship."
Previously, the law only considers victims if they were in marital or living relationships. Within the law, murders for “gender reasons” are considered, those committed by being a woman.