Conflict Alerts

Conflict Alerts # 30, 19 February 2020

Mexico: Femicide continues; so do the protests against it
M J Unnikrishnan

In the news

A seven-year-old girl, Fathima Aldirghett was killed on the southern outskirts of Mexico City. Her body was found wrapped in a bag after a stranger took her from school. The murder is the latest in the string of women slayings and has initiated another wave of protests across Mexico.

Earlier this month, a 25-year-old Mexican woman Ingrid Escamilla was stabbed to death, and her body was mutilated and partially skinned. Protests occurred following the publication of a picture of the disfigured body of Ingrid in the front page of a newspaper. President Manual Lopez Obrador responded that the protests over the killings were an attempt to distract attention from his social programmes but later said that the government is working on it so that there will not be any more women killings. Adding to that, Obrador said “Society should be purified. It had fallen into decline, a progressive degradation that has to do with the neoliberal model.”

Issues at large

Femicide is on the rise in Mexico. In 2019 alone, 3825 women were killed in Mexico according to official reports which means on an average, ten women being killed every day. More than 700 murder cases of women are under investigation.

The capital has witnessed a series of protests over this crucial issue. On 14 February, following the murder of Ingrid Escamilla, a huge mass of demonstrators marched to the National Palace, the official residence of Mexican President, chanting “not one murder more”. The agitated crowd spray-painted “femicide state” in red on the walls of National palace and then marched to the office of ‘La Prensa’, the newspaper that published the images of the skinned corpse with the headline “It was cupid’s fault”.

In perspective

Not only the attacks on women became more frequent in Mexico, but also, they became more grisly. The responses to women slayings from the part of the media portray it as a usual happening with less importance or urgency to look on.

The influence of drug trafficking groups in Mexican society remains high. The roots of the suspicion in most of the crime trace to the drug mafia. This proves that actions taken to control mighty drug mafia have not been effective.

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