#viajosola

Facebook post from viewpoint of murdered female backpackers condemns victim-blaming

The two backpackers, José Maria Coni, 22, and Marina Menegazzo, 21, referenced in Acosta's post. (Facebook)

A Facebook post written by Paraguayan student Guadalupe Acosta, from the perspective of two murdered South American female backpackers, has gone viral with over 700,000 shares since its original posting. The post, which rails against the “useless questions” that are asked as a means of blaming female victims, was made to protest those who thought the two women brought their fate upon themselves by travelling alone. The two Argentine tourists had run out of money in Ecuador when they met a pair of men who offered them a place to say. Before the next morning, the two women, José Maria Coni, 22, and Marina Menegazzo, 21, were dead, their bodies stuffed into plastic bags. The two men who offered to help them have reportedly confessed to the crime.

After the killings, people commenting online questioned why the women were “traveling alone.” That phrase in Spanish — #viajosola — was soon trending on Twitter, with around 5,000 mentions in the past few weeks. Many pointed out that the women were not travelling alone, but together, and objected to the implication that women who travel solo should expect to face violent consequences. “We must all start practicing more empathy, put ourselves in the heads of others and try to understand,” says Acosta. “Only this way will we achieve real change.”

Read the full story at BBC News.

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