She tweeted about gender violence before she was killed. Now students and women are fighting back.
Women and students are paying tribute to a 26-year-old teacher who was killed while jogging in southern Spain’s Huelva province.
Hidden by some branches, Laura Luelmo’s body was found Monday 5 kilometers (about 3 miles) from her home in El Campillo, according to local reports. She had been missing for six days. A neighbor reportedly confessed to her killing after hours of interrogation.
Luelmo’s last tweet, from March on International Women’s Day, is now being reshared by women from all parts of Spain. Some also are using the hashtag #LauraSomosTodas (#WeAreAllLaura).
The tweet features an image that’s the symbol of the 8-M movement, an umbrella group of 400 feminist organizations across the country. The group was behind mass protests in Spain this year over a court’s decision to clear five men of gang rape charges in the attack of a teenage girl.
Other people are using pictures of themselves running on Instagram and Twitter in a show of defiance since Luelmo was slain while jogging.
“I am not comfortable running at night, and I never go running alone. I don’t dare to wear certain clothes because it would seem that you want to be provocative, but that limits my freedom,” Isabel López of Figueres told CNN.
“That’s why I decided to post that picture, because it doesn’t seem fair to me that a man can freely go running at any time and a woman cannot.”
López, who works for the Inditex clothing company, said she often encounters wolf whistles and harassment while out running. “What I want is to be able to run freely, put on the clothes I want and concentrate on the sport,” she said.
Her sentiment was echoed by Amaya Villanueva of Pamplona, who is part of a women’s running club where participants wear pink clothes while they jog. “I don’t feel afraid because I don’t run alone,” she said. “If I have to go alone, it’s during the day and in crowded places.”
Isabel Montaño, a 28-year-old journalist at 12tv, a television station in Alicante, said she’s fond of running outdoors, mainly at night because of her job.
Montaño told CNN that Luelmo’s killing has pushed many women to raise their voices and say enough.
“We must mobilize and identify and harshly condemn those men who do this,” she said. “Women want to be able to run calmly at the time they want and where they want without feeling afraid of knowing whether they will return home.”
‘We don’t believe in silence’
Meanwhile, students at IES Maestro Padilla, a secondary school in Almeria in southeast Spain, took their sneakers off and wrote messages in honor of Luelmo and to all women saying, “We don’t want to be scared anymore.”
The students also went running along the promenade, making noise “because we don’t believe in silence anymore,” María José Ferrer Marquez, a coordinator of the project, told CNN.
Some of the messages read, “Running without feeling scared rather than being always scared,” and “We weren’t born women just to be killed for being so, we are people and we all worth the same. Can’t I walk on my own for being a woman?”
Another one read: “All women are free to go out, jog and dress however and whenever they like. No one has the right to tell us not to or to harm us.”