Lucrecia Salva Fuentes, Mexico
1. Who is Lucrecia Salva Fuentes?
Lucrecia Salva Fuentes was a nurse, activist for the right to health, activist for the rights of migrants and against gender violence. Lucrecia was head nurse at the General Hospital de Alta Especialidad Ciudad Salud in Tapachula, Chiapas, Mexico, on the border with Guatemala. Lucrecia had a doctorate in Public Health and Health Management, a master's degree in Education Sciences and a specialty as a medical-surgical specialist. She was a promoter and member of the volunteer ladies of the Red Cross of Tapachula, as well as founder of the Advisory and Consultancy Network in the Nursing Profession in Mexico. Lucrecia had a humble origin and made a great effort for this academic preparation, but she never stopped being sensitive, charitable, she always liked to help, she said that she "loved nursing and the contact with people".
Bearing the care of others under the skin: The story of Lucrecia Salva Fuentes
2. What happened?
Lucrecia (53) was the head nurse, but she dedicated more time than stipulated in her formal work schedule to support her colleagues and review the needs of patients, talk to them and give them minutes of tranquility. Lucrecia was involved with her community and her patients every day. When she finished her shift at the hospital where she worked, she would carry out her activism in areas with a high presence of migrants to provide medical support to women from other countries who had suffered violence. She then took them to civil society organizations to help them, providing food, lodging and legal support.
She was murdered on March 10, 2023. Her body was found lifeless with gunshots wounds on a dirt road in the town of Escuintla the day after her murder. Lucrecia's case is considered a femicide, presumably at the hands of a former patient. No one could have noticed that Lucrecia, a kind woman, was being harassed.
3. How does this situation affect access to health or the right to health?
Lucrecia Salva had an electrifying personality, in addition to her dedication and passion for her work, she was an activist for the right to health, the rights of migrants, she also struggle against gender violence, she used to take out of her personal time to medically assist whoever needed it in her home, to collect and provide humanitarian aid to migrants and to accompany abused women to receive specialized care in non-profit organizations.
This is a case that reveals gender-based violence against women health workers and has a great impact on the community of Chiapas, on women victims of gender-based violence and on the migrant population in this area of southern Mexico.
4. The Campaign
On March 11, the day that the lifeless body of nurse Lucrecia Salva Fuentes was found in the town of Escuintla, section 50 of the National Union of Health Workers of Chiapas, as well as subsection 02 of the city of Tapachula, expressed their sorrow at the "lamentable death of nurse Lucrecia Salva Fuentes", expressed their sorrow at the "lamentable feminicide" of the person they named as their "beloved Jefa Lucrecia" and begged the state governor, Rutilio Escandón Cárdenas and the prosecutor, Olaf Gómez, to apply the full weight of the law against those responsible.
On March 14, the National Union of Health Workers called for a march in the media and on social networks. From eight o'clock in the morning, men and women dressed in their uniforms walked from the door of the General Hospital of Tapachula, Lucrecia's workplace, to the state prosecutor's office to demand a thorough investigation and the arrest of those responsible.
The union leader of subsection 02 and who knew Lucrecia Salva's work, delivered to the prosecutor's office the official letter from the National Union of Health Workers, written and signed also by Jose Luis Diaz Selvas, Secretary General of Section 50 of the state of Chiapas itself.
The letter (OFICIO No.: SNTSA/CES02-S50/034/2023, Tapachula, Chiapas on March 15, 2023) is forceful and states:
The duty and right of the State to respect the constitutional rights of Lucrecia Salva, for which they demand an investigation and surrender of the feminicides who "took from us our beloved companion Lucrecia, a working and professional woman, Doctor in Public Health and Health Management, Master in Educational Sciences, Specialist in Medical Surgical, Head Nurse for three times in two different hospitals and was also a member of the Ladies Volunteers of the Red Cross of Tapachula."
It is important to say that all the media in the State of Chiapas covered the feminicide of nurse Lucrecia Salva Fuentes, who was known by her colleagues as "a woman example", because she was a health professional who constantly created programs of attention to the population of the Hospital and the external community that was attended through social organizations that she started with other fellow nurses.
Health sector marches, demands justice for Lucrecia Salva Fuentes
"Why her?": Lucrecia's feminicide outrages Chiapas; she was defending migrant women
Feminicide: Nurse Lucrecia Salva Fuentes killed in Chiapas