Peter Nowaczeck, a 27-year-old pro boxer from Toronto, Canada, is currently jailed in Playa del Carmen, Mexico (per Toronto Star). He faces charges of attempted murder aggravated with femicide.
Nowaczeck, who trained at a gym in Toronto’s Cabbagetown, was arrested last week on suspicion of attacking two women in the popular resort city on Mexico’s Caribbean coast.
According to Toronto Star one of the victims of the attack, Jamie Coutts of Vancouver, is the subject of a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds for medical expenses. At this time of writing that campaign had raised $43,230 towards its goal of $50,000.
On GoFundMe a friend of Coutts claims that Coutts and a friend were at a bar when a man pestered them and refused to leave them alone. The friend further claimed that the man then took a running start and punched Coutts repeatedly in the back of the head until she was unconscious and on the ground. The man is also accused of punching Coutts’ friend in the back of the head.
The attack left Coutts with a severely broken nose and a gash from her nose to her temple. The injuries to her nose required emergency surgery. Coutts is currently recovering in Mexico and waiting for medical clearance to return home.
Mexico abolished capital punishment in 2005. The most severe penalty possible in Mexico is life imprisonment. However, the Mexican Supreme Court ruled in 2001, that all prisoners who have been sentenced to life must become eligible for parole if they have served 50 years in prison.
Nowaczeck’s charge of attempted murder aggravated with femicide comes a year after lawmakers in Mexico toughened penalties for those convicted of femicide. Femicide is a hate crime that refers to the intentional killing of women and girls because they are female.
The changes in Mexico were spurred by waves of protests that erupted after the murder of a seven-year-old girl in Mexico City. The new law increased the sentence for femicide from 40 to 60 years in prison to 45 to 65 years in prison.
The Criminal Code of Canada does not include laws explicitly designed to target femicide. This is despite femicides increasing within the country. In the first six months of 2021 there were 14 more killings of women and girls than over that same period last year and 32 more than in 2019.