Allegados a la joven se manifestaron en diversos puntos de Veracruz para exigir justicia por su feminicidio.

The femicide of Monserrat Bendimes Roldán in Veracruz, perpetrated by her boyfriend Marlon in April 2021, reveals cracks in the legal response to gender-based violence. Nearly a thousand days after her tragic death, her story continues to cry out for an urgent and effective change in the protection of women in the region.

On April 17, 2021, Monserrat Bendimes Roldán, an Engineering student, only 20 years old, was brutally beaten by her boyfriend Marlon. According to the family’s story, they were all at a baptism in the Port of Veracruz.

Monse and Marlon left earlier, around 8 p.m. They went to her house, that’s where the beating began; The attacker fractured her victim’s arm, neck and skull, then called his parents for help and fled.

The murderer’s parents took the young woman to a hospital and left her there to flee. “It was Marlon,” Monse told her mother in her last words. She subsequently entered intensive care and after six days hospitalized, she died on April 23.

Monserrat Bendimes Roldán
Monserrat Bendimes Roldán.

Arrests and legal turmoil

This cruel feminicide unleashed a wave of demonstrations. The citizens condemned the violent action of the murderer and the escape of his entire family. The head of the Attorney General’s Office of the State of Veracruz (FGE), Verónica Hernández Giadans, published in the Official Gazette of the State of Veracruz, agreement 04/2021 by which a reward of 250 thousand pesos was offered to whoever or those who provided information truthful and useful that contributed to the location, detention or apprehension of Marlon “for his probable participation in the commission of the crime of attempted feminicide.”

In November 2021, the aggressor’s parents were arrested and, six months later, the person responsible broadcast a video – which someone sent anonymously to some media outlets – saying that it was not a femicide, but «an unfortunate accident.» . Shortly after the video, in May 2022, he turned himself in because his grandmother would also be arrested for hiding him. By his own means he arrived at the facilities of the State Human Rights Commission (CEDH) in the city of Xalapa.

Imposed conditions

On July 4, the state authority decided to grant Marlon’s parents parole. Through the Prosecutor’s Office Specialized in Investigation of Crimes of Violence against the Family, Women, Girls and Boys and Human Trafficking, it was reported that in the process being followed against Jorge Ignacio “N” and Diana Elizabeth “N”, for the alleged crime of omission of assistance, the control judge granted conditional suspension of the process, imposing conditions that, if not observed, will generate the revocation of the same, giving continuity to the process.

Jorge Ignacio “N” and Diana Elizabeth “N” must submit to the following conditions, within criminal process 289/2023, such as residing in a specific place, refraining from consuming drugs, undergoing psychological treatment, signing every 15 days at the UMECA, not possessing weapons, refraining from traveling abroad, leaving to frequent or approach the home of Monse’s family for a period of 2 years and grant the amount of 100 thousand pesos to repair the damage.

caso monse
Marlon, Monse boyfriend.

Legislative initiatives

Marlon continues to await his sentence. In this regard, local representative Anilú Ingram Vallines presented in June 2022, in the Veracruz Local Congress, an initiative to punish those who help a femicide escape, through a reform to the Veracruz Penal Code in its articles 26 and 3. 4. 5.

The president of the Permanent Commission on Human Rights explained that currently Veracruz Penal Code establishes in its article 345, exceptions in the cases of non-incrimination, especially to concealment by relatives or close people.

That is, if a person who is a family member up to the fifth degree, or even if he is your friend, compadre, neighbor, or has respect for an alleged criminal, can not be incriminated for covering him up so that he escapes.

It also proposes the repeal of section III of article 345, “which is so generic that any person could argue that they feel love, respect or friendship, without this existing in reality and these supposed feelings would be left up to interpretation, which generates networks. very broad support for alleged criminals, as happens in cases of violence against women and femicides, crimes that are rarely reported and therefore, as I have been explaining, victims do not have access to prompt and expeditious justice.”

Law for Monse and all femicide victims

The deputy thanked Monse’s mother and father for allowing her to use her daughter’s name for this initiative, as well as the Brujas del Mar collective, whose members originally proposed modifying the law so that the legal framework allows impunity not to be the trend in femicides in Veracruz.

“We agree that Veracruz needs a regulatory framework that addresses the reality of women. That is our obligation and I am sure that we are all willing to fulfill it. This law is for Monse, but it is also for all the victims of femicides and their families, it is for there to be no more criminals of all kinds on the streets, because they were covered up, it is for women to live free and safe, but, above all «He goes for a better Veracruz for everyone,» he concluded.

Almost a thousand days after the femicide of his daughter, Cecil Roma continues to ask for justice and makes the call that if they recognize Marlon Botas Fuentes as the probable perpetrator of a crime, they report him by calling the telephone number 911, the emergency line that operates in Mexico.

“And what is the work of those who represent us in the three powers: Executive, Legislative and Judicial? They are more interested when they are in power to preserve their party. Does the life of women have neither color nor party? ”She said.

Another feminicide that shocked Mexican society was recorded on November 30, 2022, when Rosa Isela Castro Vázquez, 8 months pregnant, was murdered in the municipality of Medellín de Bravo to extract her baby.

The attackers took advantage of the fact that the victim was of limited resources to offer him a gift of clothing. After the crime, a couple was arrested as the main suspect in the incident, and the newborn was rescued.

Revealing figures of femicides

The University Observatory of Violence against Women, of the Universidad Veracruzana (UV), points out that there have been 51 femicides in the entity so far this year. According to their report, of the 212 municipalities that make up the state of Veracruz, the largest number has been registered in the state capital, Xalapa, as well as in Córdoba, Papantla, Veracruz and Maltrata and, although the majority of the murdered women are In adulthood, there are reports of 2 minors, 3 older adults and 13 of whom their age is not specified, with firearms being the main cause of death.

Myriam Lagunes Marín, a member of the State System to Prevent, Attend, Punish and Eradicate Violence against Women, stated that from 2018 to date, 980 women, adolescents and girls have been murdered in the state of Veracruz and that the majority of the deaths violent, have gone unpunished.

In 2018, he said, 172 violent deaths of women were reported, of which 111 were classified as femicides and 59 as intentional homicide. In 2019, there were 165 femicides and, in 2020, 95 femicides and 90 homicides, in addition to 280 disappearances. The following year, 83 femicides and 79 homicides were documented, as well as 686 disappearances, and in 2022, there were 83 femicides and 98 homicides, as well as 693 disappearances.

“Fatal crimes against women in the state have continued. Although the files can be categorized as feminicide or homicide, the reality is that they are violent deaths of women. Although the hypotheses for categorizing the folders are different, at the end of the day what families are looking for is justice,” she said.

Legal achievements and ongoing challenges

This year, several sentences have been achieved against feminicides. 70 years in prison against a subject for having murdered her mother, as well as attempted femicide against her sister in 2021, in San Andrés Tlalnelhuayocan.

Another 47-year-old against two subjects as responsible for the crime of femicide committed to the detriment of the victim identified with the initials EAC; The case occurred in 2018 in Xalapa. They also charged another subject in the municipality of Acatlán, when he allegedly attacked the victim to the point of depriving her of her life, and elements of the Ministerial Police arrested Adrián “N” In flagrante delicto in Xalapa.

The most recent case was recorded on November 10, 2023: a subject was sentenced to 43 years for being responsible for the crime of femicide to the detriment of a victim with a protected identity. The events occurred on November 12, 2021, inside a home located in the town of San Antonio, in the municipality of Cosoleacaque.

As a measure to help reduce femicidal violence, Congresswoman Anilú Ingram promotes the implementation of Puntos Violeta in the 212 municipalities of Veracruz. They are safe places to provide information and link women in situations of violence, so that they can receive support from municipal and state agencies in collaboration with the private and public sectors. However, only 2 of 212 have launched them.


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