On the 12th of October, Florencia Gómez, a comrade of la Fede – Federación Juvenil Comunista de la Argentina (Communist Youth Federation of Argentina) was vilely murdered. She was one more victim of a sexist system. Fede are campaigning to demand justice for Florencia and to end endemic violence against women in Argentina.
Ayelén Beigbeder of Fede, a friend and comrade of Florencia, was interviewed by Filo news about who Florencia Gómez was and what her femicide means for her community and her comrades. Challenge has republished the interview in English.
On 12 October in the town of San Jorge, in Santa Fe, María Florencia Gómez Pouillastrou was murdered and her body was abandoned in a field in the area. The 35-year-old woman was an active feminist who had recently become a city councillor. While the shock continues – it does not stop the demands for justice – and the person responsible is sought.
On the morning of October 12, Florencia had left her 1 and 4-year-old daughters with the father, former partner and councillor for the Communist Party in San Jorge, Lisandro Schiozzi. At 1:15pm that day, a security camera recorded the last image of her alive. At 1:45 p.m. her cell phone’s GPS located her in the area where her body was found.
It was that same afternoon that two young men found her body in the grasslands. The case was classified as “rape followed by death aggravated by gender violence” and the prosecutor in charge is Carlos Zoppegni.
They woke up thousands of women
Florencia and Ayelén shared space in the Communist Party together since 2018: “In our organisation she was part of the National Gender Commission and responsible for gender in San Jorge. She was a girl who understood the feminist struggle from classism.“
“Flor understood feminism as one of the transforming tools of this deeply unequal society. She militated to combat the deep poverty in which many women totally abandoned by the state are submerged and who have on their shoulders the responsibility of maintaining a house, their children and themselves. Flor organized many activities in the local of the Fede of San Jorge, not only to be able to bring a plate of food but also for these women to empower themselves,” says Ayelén.
She continued: “She understood that male violence is a daily part of this society and its base is actually the relationship of capitalist exploitation and patriarchy, and, like her sister Gabi said in an interview a few days ago, we say ‘they didn’t kill Florencia, they woke up thousands of women who want to be in the fight, who want the tools to not be afraid.“
Santa Fe, second province in femicides
The province led by Omar Perotti is the second highest in femicides in Argentina after Buenos Aires: from 20 March to 1 October, according to information from La Casa del Encuentro, 142 femicides were registered, of which 20 occurred in Santa Fe.
“The municipality did not even decree a day of mourning when we found out about the femicide” – Beigbeder questions – “We expected much more from the authorities of San Jorge, but we know that unfortunately a woman’s life is worth little and nothing to the powerful, they believe us disposable, an accessory, and this violence is also suffered in political spaces. It must be emphasized that in other cities such as Laguna Paiva, declarations of justice were presented, we want at least something similar to be done in San Jorge.”
But the actions continue: “We are coordinating with the National Ministry of Gender, the Secretary for Women of Santa Fe and the municipality of San Jorge, a one-time assistance for her daughters , and we have requested accompaniment from the Provincial Women’s Area to the entire human group, which is something we are still waiting for. We are also coordinating with the access to justice centre because in the course of these days of investigation and testimony taking there were regrettable episodes of institutional violence against our comrades who are from the very beginning not only articulating and at the service of the investigation, but they are also mourning.“
“Flor was working with the gender area of the intendancy on the Micaela Law , and we are continuing that now with the girls who are active there. We had almost started a program to eradicate violence against women, which was the work of territorial promoters in the neighbourhoods, which is now being launched again,” Ayelén says.
And she closed with the following reflection: “When it comes to femicide we understand that the only way to do justice is the guarantee of non-repetition . That is why we understand the importance of a conclusive and rapid investigation, but we know that we will not rest until we have true justice, which are public policies for access to work, housing, health, and identity.
“In the medium term, our axis will be to shout very loudly that they assassinated an unparalleled leader but that this is not going to silence our voices because Flor will live forever in us and we will carry her name from generation to generation until we end the patriarchal capitalist system. Flor will not only be a law, a square and a fight. Flor will be revolution,”
You can follow and support the Justice for Florenica campaign online at www.justiciaporflorencia.com.
This article was originally published in Challenge