Five men were sentenced in Mexico on Tuesday to 697 years in prison for femicide in what is an unprecedented move in a country where the systematic killing of women often goes unpunished.
A prosecutor in the northern Mexican state of Chihuahua sentenced five people to nearly 700 years for killing a total of 11 young women, news agency Reuters reported.
"They deceived girls to recruit them for prostitution and use them as drug distributors. When they weren't 'useful' anymore, they took their lives and dumped their bodies in the Navajo stream of the Juarez Valley," prosecutors said in a statement.
The move is unprecedented in Mexico where, according to the National Citizen Femicide Observatory, six women are assassinated every day, but only 1.6 percent of cases investigated as femicides lead to sentencing.
“For the Mexican state drug trafficking is the most important threat to the country, which obscures other serious crimes like the assassinations of women and girls who die from gender-based discrimination and hate, most of which remain unpunished,” a report on femicide from the observatory reads.
In March, the Supreme Court of Mexico ordered for the first time to investigate a case as "femicide" in 2010, after it was previously ruled a suicide.
In addition to Tuesday's prison sentence, the convicted must also pay US$550,000 for damages to the families of the victims who were found dead in 2012.