In Mexico, anger grows after a new series of femicides

Yolanda, Depanhe, Mariver… By what name will this tragic list of victims of femicides in Mexico end? And every time, every drama, it’s pretty much the same scenario.

Yolanda Martinez is the latest victim of this particularly deadly month of April. The 26-year-old has been missing for more than a month. His body was found “in an uninhabited place” in Juarez on the outskirts of Monterrey (the city of more than 1 million people located in the northeast, editor’s note). Since his daughter’s disappearance, Gerardo Martinez has accused the authorities of neglecting the investigation. According to him, his daughter was last seen in the security camera footage which showed her leaving her house while leaving to look for work. The authorities explain his death with the suicide thesis, which his relatives reject.

[Une deuxième autopsie devrait être pratiquée sur Yolanda Martínez Cadena pour démentir la thèse d’un suicide…]

Too many unexplained deaths

The discovery of Yolanda’s lifeless body adds to the outrage caused by the case of Depanhe Escobar, a young woman who was found dead 12 days after she went missing in the same area. A few weeks ago, another young woman, Maria Fernanda Contreras, 27, also disappeared and was later found dead in Nuevo Leon. According to the forensic medical reports he cited MilenioMariver (short for Maria Fernanda) died of a deep skull contusion caused by one or more violent blows to the head. Although this information was discovered and confirmed, the authorities of Nuevo León did not report any progress in the investigation into the search for the person or persons responsible for the femicide. “.

[Les FÉMINICIDES de María Fernanda Contreras, Debanhi Escobar et Yolanda Martínez selon le bureau du procureur de Nuevo León
1—María Fernanda est entrée dans la gueule du loup.
2—Debanhi a accidentellement trébuché sur une citerne
3—Yolanda a marché plus de 4 heures pour se suicider dans un terrain vague.]

After twelve days of searching, on Friday, April 21, Debanhi’s body was found at the bottom of a tank next to a motel located on the side of the road to Nuevo Laredo, on the border with the United States. The first version of the police indicates that it was likely an accident and that the girl drowned after falling into the tank. The version quickly aroused indignation among his relatives and within the population.

Demonstrations are organized immediately in Monterrey but also in the capital, Mexico City. The procession of women screaming “Debanhi I gave you my vote”And ‘We demand justice’. Her latest images—roadside, alone at night, sideways, skinny figure with long hair, arms crossed, handbag draped over her shoulder, white shirt, beige long skirt, and Converse shoes—are rapidly becoming an emblem of feminist activists.

Woman holding a sign that says in Spanish

failed to investigate

From the first weeks of his daughter’s disappearance, her father, Mario Escobar, alerted the media and posted videos on Instagram to denounce the police’s failures in the first phase of the search.

During a press conference, the Public Prosecutor of the State of Nuevo Leon drew a preliminary sketch, in the presence of Mario Escobar, by admitting “mistakes” and the “omission”, Announcing the dismissal of two prosecutors. Search teams passed several times near the reservoir but only discovered the body 12 days later. During the same press conference, the Public Prosecution Office showed a video tape in an attempt to clarify the facts.

At 4:29 a.m. on Saturday, April 9, Dipanhi found herself alone on the side of the road, before entering the inn complex and bending over from the window of an abandoned restaurant, according to CCTV footage. Previously, the young woman bought a bottle of alcohol in a convenience store with two girlfriends, and then left a party after an argument with her friends and other guys, according to witnesses and other photos from CCTV.

The young woman then boarded Didi’s car – an on-demand transfer service app – which she later got off of for an unknown reason, according to several testimonies. On television, the driver denied the father’s accusations of an inappropriate gesture towards Aldebanhi. On the contrary, the driver claims that she wanted to call her friends and parents when she decided to get out of her white car, which is why he took the famous Depanhi photo on the side of the road and shared it.

“There are a lot of hypotheses. We can’t rule anything out.”Prosecutor Gustavo Adolfo Guerrero said.“We are not ruling out any leads in the investigation.”The father who initially spoke of the kidnapping and assassination confessed.

Foreign media are talking about Dibanhi

Interest in his story extends far beyond the borders of the country, from Peru to the United States, and newspapers make the front page on Debanhi. “Women disappear in Mexico. One of thousands”summary The New York Times In one addition: “The case renews anger at the authorities’ inaction.”.

The New York Times devoted its front page to Depanhy's disappearance.

“This case is more clear than others because the media decided it”analyzes Valeria Moscoso, an expert on psychosocial issues, who notes that the complaints of other victims’ families have not had the same resonance.

A case that sums up (…) the inaction of the authorities, the complicity of the victims, their guilt, the criminalization of families and the impunity of the aggressors.
Valeria Moscoso, expert in psychosocial issues

This case summarizes all the flaws in justice in cases of disappearance of women, according to the expert: “Lack of authorities, complicity and criminality of victims, criminalization of their families, and impunity of aggressors.”.

[Merci à Edén Muñoz pour cette belle chanson en l’honneur de ma fille et nous continuons à chercher la vérité.]

Ten feminicides a day

322 women have disappeared in Nuevo Leon state since the beginning of the year alone. 90% of these disappearances occur within 72 hours.Minimize the Prosecutor.

But Dipanhi’s case has sparked outrage at the shortcomings of the authorities in a country where killings and disappearances of women number in the thousands each year. Last year, Mexico recorded 33,308 murders, according to official figures. Approximately 10% of the victims are women. In 2021 alone, 3,751 women were murdered, including 1,004 cases considered femicide, and nearly 100,000 disappeared. Feminists deplore an average of ten femicides per day.

Protesters hang pictures of Depani Escobar and other missing women on the fence surrounding the public prosecutor's office in Mexico City, Friday, April 22, 2022.

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