Pope urges end to violence against women

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PV International Desk : Pope Francis on Saturday urged Latin America’s faithful to fight rampant violent crime against women including murder, while holding mass in Trujillo, Peru’s largest northern city.

“I wish to invite you to combat a plague across our Latin American region: the numerous cases of violent crimes against women, from beatings to rape to murder,” the visiting pontiff told thousands in Trujillo’s main colonial-era square.

Half of the 25 countries with the greatest number of murders of women are in Latin America, according to UN Women.

In Argentina, the pope’s homeland, there were at least 254 murders of women in 2016 that authorities think were gender-related, which helped spark the online campaign #NotOneMore murder.

“There are so many cases of violence that stay silenced behind so many walls,” Francis said, arousing cheers from the crowd. “I’m calling on you to fight against this source of suffering including legislation and a culture that rejects every type of violence.”

The northwestern city Trujillo is still struggling to rebuild after deadly devastating floods one year ago.

More than 130 people were killed across Peru between January and April 2017 in heavy rains, floods and landslides fueled by the El Nino weather phenomenon, which also left at least 300,000 homeless. Hardest-hit was Peru’s northern coastal region.