Alleged murder of Peruvian mother Marilyn Martínez stuns TikTok community

Bruno Cooke January 26, 2023
Alleged murder of Peruvian mother Marilyn Martínez stuns TikTok community
Photo by Carlos Garcia Granthon/Fotoholica Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

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News of the death of Marilyn Yesenia Martínez Gonzales, age 34, has travelled to TikTok in recent days, prompting numerous users to pay tribute to the Peruvian content creator and mother, whose cause of death is reported by local news outlets to be murder.

[WARNING: Content of a disturbing nature ahead.]

Peruvian radio and television broadcasting company Radio Programas del Perú (RPP) reported on January 16, 2023, that Marilyn Martínez’ husband, Alexander Israel Pinedo Barrón, has been arrested on suspicion of her murder. Police found her with multiple stab wounds in her family home in San Borja, in Lima, Peru.

“According to police information, the alleged perpetrator would be her partner, identified as Alexander Israel Pinedo Barrón,” the outlet writes.

Social media users have been using the hashtag “#justiciaparamarilyn” when sharing videos of her. She had a nine-year-old son, who is now in the care of her mother.

Photo credit should read CRIS BOURONCLE/AFP via Getty Images

RIP Marilyn Yesenia Martínez Gonzales: Age and cause of death according to local media reports

Peruvian news outlet RPP reported on January 16, 2023, that Marilyn Yesenia Martínez Gonzales had been found stabbed to death inside her home.

She was 34 years old at the time of her passing. She lived with her husband, Alexander Israel Pinedo Barrón, and her nine-year-old son. The crime allegedly occurred in the presence of her son. He is now in the care of Martínez’s mother, his grandmother.

Two days later, the same news outlet reported that the prosecutor’s office in Lima had requested nine months of preventive detention for Marilyn Martínez’s husband, Pinedo Barrón, who is the “main suspect”.

It also added that “jealousy” might have been a possible motive. She was a popular video creator on the social media platform TikTok.

He reportedly confessed to the crime

Latin American news outlet Infobae wrote on January 19 that Pinedo Barrón had confessed to the crime “without hesitation.”

When authorities brought him back to the scene of the crime to reconstruct the incident, he reportedly said he was a “murderer and I have killed my wife.”

“Record me,” he allegedly confessed. “When I killed her, I did see her bone. … Then I said: here it is my turn. But I was such a coward that I could not commit suicide.”

MSN also notes that jealousy may have been a motive for the murder. And it cites Infobae’s report in saying that Marilyn Martínez had lived with her husband Alexander Barrón for 10 years.

TikTok users pay tribute to Marilyn ‘Fitmommy’ Martínez following death, age 34

Following news of her death at the age of 34 – her husband is 45 – TikTok users have been sharing Marilyn Martínez’s story.

She was popular on the platform for videos in which she dances and lip-syncs to mostly Spanish-language songs. Some of her videos feature her husband. In total, they have garnered 2.1M likes; she has nearly 300K followers.

TikTokers have been using the hashtag “#justiciaparamarilyn,” meaning “justice for Marilyn,” in relation to her death.

Her fourth most recent video upload on the platform features her husband. She uploaded it on January 14, 2023, two days before she died.

Photo by Carlos Garcia Granthon/Fotoholica Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

Femicide rates in Peru

In 2020, in the midst of lockdowns during the Covid-19 pandemic, the United Nations warned of a “shadow pandemic.”

By which, NPR reported a few months later, it meant the global increase in violence against women and girls. Between January 1 and August 21 that year, there were 75 cases of femicide in Peru. 

Statista, meanwhile, records over 1,200 confirmed femicides in Peru between 2010 and 2021.

And in 2020, between the months of March and July alone, Peru’s Ministry for Women and Vulnerable Populations (MIMP) reported that there had been 104K calls to the national hotline for victims of domestic and sexual violence between March and the end of July.

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website. For the UK, you can visit the Refuge website here, or Women’s Aid.

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Bruno Cooke has been a freelance journalist since 2019, primarily with GRV Media. He was an early contributor to The Focus, and has written for HITC, Groundviews and the Sheffield University newspaper – he earned his MA in Global Journalism there in 2021. He’s the Spoken Word Poetry Editor for The Friday Poem, and self-published his debut novel Reveries in 2019, which his mum called both a “fine read” and “excellent Christmas present”. Bruno has lived in China, Sri Lanka and the Philippines and likes, among other things: bicycle touring, black and white Japanese films, pub quizzes, fermentation and baklava. In 2023, Bruno will set off with his partner on a round-the-world cycle.