Series of murders brings attention to rise of femicide in Latin America

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Two murders in Puerto Rico have again brought attention to the rise in violence against women on the island.

Why it matters: Around 20 women and girls have been killed in suspected femicides so far this year, per a Puerto Rican advocacy group.

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  • The deaths of Andrea Ruiz and Keishla Rodríguez come as Latin America as a whole tries to reckon with skyrocketing numbers of violence against women.

  • Ruiz had unsuccessfully sought a restraining order against her former partner, who confessed to her murder. He was arrested and is in jail awaiting trial.

  • Rodríguez, who was pregnant, was kidnapped, drugged and drowned. The main suspect is boxer Félix Verdejo, who is currently in prison.

Between the lines: Gov. Pedro Pierluisi declared a state of emergency over gender violence in January. He requested $7 million for the training of 911 dispatchers and other public officials.

  • La Junta, a congressional oversight board for the island’s finances, in April tried to limit the expenditure to $200,000. Yesterday it recanted and offered full funding.

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