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Argentinians Protest Violence Against Women on ‘Black Wednesday’

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Thousands took to the streets in cities across Argentina on Wednesday to protest violence against women, after the rape and killing of a teenager.

Lucia Pérez, 16, was drugged, repeatedly raped and tortured, which led her to suffer a cardiac arrest and then die from internal injuries in the city of Mar del Plata on Oct. 8. Two men left her at a local hospital claiming she had overdosed on drugs, before running away, the BBC reports. Three suspects have been arrests and remain in custody.

Activists called Oct. 19 Black Wednesday, and turned it into a day to protest against violence towards women in the South American country. They urged participants to wear black and join street marches. Many walked out of work for an hour to take part, carrying signs that read “If you touch one of us, we all react”.

Eighty Argentine cities held demonstrations, and 58 others around the world joined in, Telam news agency reports. Many tweeted using the hashtag ‘#NiUnaMenos’, meaning ‘not one less’. “We can all be vulnerable and suffer what happened to this girl – all of us, our entire gender,” a demonstrator in Buenos Aires told CNN.

Pérez’s brother, Matías, wrote in an open letter this week that police initially refused to let him see his sister’s body because of the horrific nature of her injuries. He also said his family has been receiving death threats.

“This time, it was Lucy who suffered this beast-like violence, but the next time it could happen to you, or the person you love most in this world. We have to be strong and go into the street to shout all together, now more than ever: not one less,” he added.


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Write to Kate Samuelson at kate.samuelson@time.com