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Mexico women protest after gruesome killing of Ingrid Escamilla

Dozens of activists flocked to Mexico’s presidential palace on Friday to protest against violence against women, chanting “not one murder more” and splashing one of its large, ornate doors with blood-red paint and the words “femicide state”. The heated Valentine’s Day demonstration, led by women, stemmed from outrage in recent days over the killing of…

Mexico women protest after gruesome killing of Ingrid Escamilla

Dozens of activists flocked to Mexico’s presidential palace on Friday to protest against violence against women, chanting “not one murder more” and splashing one of its large, ornate doors with blood-red paint and the words “femicide state”.
The heated Valentine’s Day demonstration, led by women, stemmed from outrage in recent days over the killing of 25-year-old Ingrid Escamilla in Mexico City and the publication of graphic photos of her mutilated corpse in newspapers.
One protester spray painted “INGRID” in tall pink letters on another palace door in tribute. Many participants noted that her death was only the latest example in a wave of brutal murders of women that have been dubbed “femicides”.
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An average of 10 women are killed a day in Mexico, and last year marked a new overall homicide record, official data show.
“It’s not just Ingrid. There are thousands of femicides,” said Lilia Florencio Guerrero, whose daughter was violently killed in 2017. “It fills us with anger and rage.”
She called on President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who was inside the palace as the protests continued, to do more to stop the violence.
Others graffitied slogans including “they are killing us” on the building’s walls and ejected bright flames from cans of flammable spray paint.

Demonstrators standing in front of presidential palace doors with words reading, ‘Ingrid’ and ‘femicide state’ in downtown Mexico City, Mexico [Andres Martinez Casares/Reuters] 

Inside the stately palace, where Lopez Obrador lives with his family, the president attempted to reassure the activists during his morning news conference.
“I’m not burying my head in the sand … The government I represent will always take care of ensuring the safety of women,” he said, without detailing new plans.
Protesters also admonished the newspapers that published photos of Escamilla’s corpse, chanting, “the press is complicit”. 
La Prensa, a newspaper that ran the gruesome image on its cover, defended its record of reporting on crime and murder, subjects it said the government prefers to keep quiet. The paper also said it was open to discussion on adjusting its standards beyond legal requirements.
“We understand today that it hasn’t been sufficient, and we’ve entered a process of deeper review,” the paper said in a front-page statement on Friday.
Newspaper Pasala had filled nearly its entire tabloid cover with the photo, under the Valentine’s Day-themed headline: “It was cupid’s fault”. The cover sparked anger not only at the gory display, but also the jocular tone over a crime for which Escamilla’s domestic partner has been arrested.
Pasala editors did not respond to requests for comment.
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Mexico

More than 61,000 missing in Mexico amid spiralling drug violence

Mexico now says at least 61,000 people have gone missing in the country’s drug wars. The 43 Ayotzinapa students who disappeared five years ago have become emblematic of the violence [File: Marco Ugarte/AP Photo] The Mexican government said on Monday more than 61,000 people had gone missing as a result of the increasingly violent drug…

More than 61,000 missing in Mexico amid spiralling drug violence

Mexico now says at least 61,000 people have gone missing in the country’s drug wars. The 43 Ayotzinapa students who disappeared five years ago have become emblematic of the violence [File: Marco Ugarte/AP Photo]
The Mexican government said on Monday more than 61,000 people had gone missing as a result of the increasingly violent drug war with powerful cartels, 50 percent more than the government previously estimated.
The new figure from the one-year-old administration of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, popularly known as AMLO, compares with about 40,000 missing cited by the government as recently as June.
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“The official data of missing persons is 61,637,” Karla Quintana, head of the National Registry of Missing or Missing Persons (RNPED), told a news conference.
She said about a quarter of the missing were women.

Mexico violence: Homicide rate reached record in 2019

More than 97.4 percent of the total have gone missing since 2006, when then-President Felipe Calderon sent the army to the streets to fight drug traffickers, fragmenting the cartels and leading to vicious internal fighting. 
AMLO has adopted a policy of “hugs, not bullets” in dealing with violent crime, focussing on addressing inequality and tackling corruption, but the death toll has continued to climb. 
The country suffered a record number of homicides in 2019.
Separately, officials said efforts to find the missing had so far uncovered 1,124 corpses in 873 clandestine burial pits.
The country’s National Search Commission said that in its first 13 months of work, only about one-third of the bodies found were identified and less than a quarter of the total had been returned to relatives.
The government has set up DNA databases to help identify bodies, but the majority of those found still go unidentified.
Drug and kidnapping gangs often use unmarked pits to dispose of the bodies of their victims or rivals.
The commission said about a third of the corpses it had found were located in just three of the country’s 31 states: the northern state of Sinaloa, the Gulf coast state of Veracruz and the Pacific coast state of Colima.

SOURCE:
Al Jazeera and news agencies

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