Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Crime. Women Do It, Too

And of course women commit crimes, too. But men committing crimes is not exactly news, whereas women committing crimes, be it ever-so-few, IS news, just because they are women. Stories about crime in general don't focus on the gender of the perpetrator if that gender is male.

The latest example is this one from Mexico:

Ramirez's arrest highlights a shift in the relationship between women and criminal groups; women now participate in kidnappings, extortion and even hits. And their roles go beyond simply being mixed up with the wrong crowd — as was alleged to have happened with a raven-haired beauty queen, Laura Zuniga, who was arrested in December 2008 with a posse of cartel toughs. (She was released five weeks later.)

The National Women's Institute (Inmujeres) reported a 400% increase in the number of women imprisoned for federal crimes — mainly drugs and guns — over the past three years.

Inmujeres put the number of women incarcerated for federal crimes at 4,292.
I tried to find the overall incarceration figures for federal crimes in Mexico, to see what percentage that 4,292 might be of the total, but my Spanish is nonexistent. In any case it's a very low total number, and the reason for that 400% increase is partly in the even lower starting point.

This wouldn't be worth writing about if I hadn't seen so many similar things in the past, and not only about crime: Ignoring the overall numbers and failing to place the stories into proper perspective.