THE bleak toll of gender killings in Spain continues as a 28-year-old woman and her three-year-old daughter were murdered on the day of the Three Kings fiesta, allegedly by her ex-partner. Monica Linde was described as a well-educated young woman who had worked in the UK for Zara and was currently employed by Easy Jet. The only suspect in her death is Ruben Dario, aged 27, her former partner and husband of five years. The couple had been separated and divorce proceedings were underway. Dario is the father of the murdered toddler, named as three-year-old Ciara.
The tragic news came on the same day that the government confirmed that 2019 had seen 55 gender killings over the year, the worst figures since 2015. All were women killed by partners or ex-partners and three children were also victims. Specialists in the field have said it is difficult to say why there has been a rise after years of campaigning and a feeling that Spain was turning the corner with this difficult issue. However, one said that rhetoric from far-right party Vox – who deny that gender violence is a separate issue from “ordinary” murders – is a possible factor. “You can’t say that the rise is exclusively down to the messages against the protection of women from the far right, but it is clear that it is having an influence.” Said Miguel Lorente, a coroner who was also a government delegate investigating gender violence causes.