Vandals last week defaced a Spanish memorial for a slain 8-year-old boy with graffiti urging the abuse of men and boys.
The whale-shaped monument to Gabriel Cruz is located in Almeria, Spain, where locals call it “The Whale of Gabriel and the Good People.” El Español reported that graffiti was discovered on the memorial Tuesday.
“Become a feminist and abuse the male, whether he is a boy or a man,” it read.
Cruz disappeared in February 2018. His body was recovered 12 days later after widespread media attention and a nationwide search involving 3,000 volunteers and 2,000 professional rescuers. Ana Julia Quezada, the girlfriend of Cruz’s father at the time, later confessed to killing the boy.
Almeria City Council sources told the EFE international news agency that the municipality planned to have the vandalism cleaned up by last Thursday. There were no suspects.
Patricia Ramirez and Angel Cruz, the boy’s parents, spoke in December during an inauguration ceremony for their son’s memorial.
“I want to thank everyone who came with a smile,” Ramirez said to assembled onlookers. “It was a way to give back the love you gave us and above all the children, who we have to protect, and also who gave everything for us.”
Gabriel Cruz and feminism in Spain
Tensions between feminists and reactionaries have lately flared in Spain. The right-wing Vox party has emerged as a political force in the region of Andalusia, where Almeria is located. It won 12 seats in last year’s election.
A major plank of the party, which has been described as “alt-right” and “far-right,” is its outright resistance to feminism.
In April, members of the radical feminist group Femen disrupted a Vox meeting shortly before parliamentary elections. The same month, Spain elected “its most feminist parliament ever,” as a headline in the The Local put it. Some 47 percent of elected members in the country’s next parliamentary session will be women.
Vox is seen by some as a reaction to such developments in the nation’s culture wars.