Male violence

Vicarious violence behind the Tenerife girls' murder

Fingerprints confirm that the body found at the bottom of the sea is that of Olivia, the older sister

M. R.
2 min
A file image of the oceanographic boat that found the body of six-year-old Olivia at a depth of 1,000 metres on Thursday

BacelonaAfter forty days of searching, the fatal outcome of the case of Anna and Olivia, the two girls aged one and six murdered in Tenerife, has shocked society and has once again put the spotlight on one of the most unknown but no less frequent forms of male violence, vicarious violence, in which the aggressor uses the children to harm the partner. The oceanographic boat that joined a week ago the sea search of the girls located on Thursday one of the bodies at a depth of a thousand meters. According to Efe agency, the footprints have confirmed on Friday that the body is that of Olivia, the six-year-old sister. Initially the investigators had all the hypotheses on the table, starting with the possibility that the father had kidnapped the children and had taken them with him abroad, but all the evidence that has been collected by the Guardia Civil have led investigators to a fatal outcome at sea.

Now the efforts are focused on recovering Anna's body and locating the father. Everything suggests that the man killed the daughters and threw the bodies at sea before taking his own life. On April 27, the girls spent the afternoon with their father - the two parents separated a year ago - at the man's farm, who was supposed to take them back to their mother's house at 9 p.m. But they were never seen again. Security cameras in the port of Güímar captured the father, alone, carrying several bags to the boat that was moored to his property. According to investigators, the man made two trips out to sea and never returned from the second. His mobile phone signal was suddenly lost a mile from the harbour and the boat turned up the next day empty and adrift. This is the point where all the search efforts have been focused and where finally the oceanographic boat equipped with an underwater robot managed to locate Olivia's body at a depth of 1,000 meters. According to sources of the investigation consulted by Europa Press, it was inside a bag tied with a chain to the anchor of the father's boat. The day before, a duvet cover and an oxygen cylinder, which the man may also have used to dispose of the bodies, had been found at the same depth.

Forty victims since 2013

According to data from the Home Office, 39 minors have died in a gender-based murder since 2013 in Spain, without counting the case of the Tenerife girls. In 36 of the cases analysed by the Spanish government's delegation against male violence, the children's executioner was their biological father.

The father of Anna and Olivia had threatened the girls' mother several times that he would take them away and that he would never see them again. The couple had separated a year earlier and the mother had started a new relationship with another man. Despite the threats, the girls' mother had not reported the ex-partner until the day of the disappearance. A pattern that is repeated in the ministry's statistics: only in the case of 13 of the 39 minors murdered in the last eight years was there a previous complaint of abuse or threats.

The president of the Spanish government, Pedro Sanchez, has expressed his solidarity with the feminist rallies this afternoon against the avalanche of cases of gender violence and, in particular, also for the crime of the minors from Tenerife. From Costa Rica, he has regretted that Vox and the PP have "trivialised" and "frivolised" the laws of gender violence.

A 17-year-old girl, killed by her ex-boyfriend in Seville

In the last few hours the case of another 17-year-old girl in Estepa (Seville), who disappeared on June 3, has been solved. The girl's ex-partner has confessed that he murdered her and dismembered the body, to get rid of it. The couple had a four-month-old son. According to Efe agency, the victim's environment points out that the young woman was a victim of abuse by the confessed murderer, but did not dare to report him. This is the eighteenth victim of male violence in Spain since the beginning of 2021.