A court in the Mexican state of Chihuahua has sentenced five men to 697 years in prison for the murders of 11 women, marking the longest sentence given for femicide in the country so far.
In a statement an official at the attorney general's office in the state of Chihuahua said, "They used ploys to recruit young women into prostitution and drug distribution. When they were no longer 'useful,' they took their lives and threw their bodies in the Navajo Arroyo, in the Valley of Juarez."
In addition to prison time, the convicts were ordered to pay 9 million pesos ($752,907) to the families of the victims.
The historic sentence took the precedent of a Supreme Court case in March in which the court convicted the accused on the charge of femicide instead of suicide, rejecting a lower court decision.
The 11 victims, whose bodies were found in 2012, were among the thousands of women who have been murdered in Mexico in the last two decades.
The record sentence is unprecedented in Mexico, where according to the National Citizen Femicide Observatory 3,892 women were murdered between 2012 and 2013, with only 1.6 percent of the cases resulting in a fair trial that led to punishment.
“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,” according to a report from Mexico’s National Citizen Femicide Observatory.