Mexican protesters demand action on femicides after 25-year-old woman’s death

Feb. 15 (UPI) — Dozens of women tossed paint and sprayed red graffiti on Mexico’s National Palace Friday to protest government and media handling of the death of a 25-year-old woman in Mexico City as well as the high rate of murders of young women in the country — most of which go unsolved.

Ingrid Escamilla was found dead and extensively mutilated in a Mexico City Home Sunday. Police immediately arrested a 46-year-old man who prosecutors say was Escamilla’s husband, and who confessed to the slaying when police arrived.

Mexico City mayor Claudia Sheinbaum said prosecutors would demand the maximum sentence against the alleged perpetrator.

“Femicide is an absolutely condemnable crime. It is appalling when hatred reaches extremes like in the case of Ingrid Escamilla,” Sheinbaum wrote on Twitter.

The case has drawn outrage in the country in part because it is part of a trend that has largely gone unaddressed: according to Mexico’s Attorney General Alejandro Gertz, femicides — crimes committed against women specifically because of their gender — have increased 137 percent in the last five years.

In 2019 1,006 femicides were reported in Mexico, compared with 912 in 2018.

Less than 10 percent of such crimes are solved.

Escamilla’s death has also been a flashpoint for anger about the ongoing crimes because it was so gruesome, and because its gruesomeness was so well-publicized.

Photos of Escamilla’s body — from which her skin and several organs had been removed — were leaked to two tabloids, drawing criticism on social media and prompting the creation of hashtag campaigns to commemorate Escamilla with beautiful photos.

“You deserve to be remembered for who you were, not what they did to you,” one Twitter user wrote.

Mereces ser recordada por quien eras, no por lo que te hicieron

Ingrid was brutally murdered by her husband and press leaked photos of her body, help us respect her memory by posting something beautiful instead#IngridEscamillaVargas #IngridEscamilla #ingridescamillafotos pic.twitter.com/CwzPK2atKx— rowoonie’s missing svt (@itsamonbebe) February 14, 2020

Gertz recently sparked outrage by saying he didn’t think femicides should be classified as its own category of homicide.

And Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador sparked new outrage when he chastised a journalist for asking questions about femicides during a news conference about a government raffle: “I don’t want femicides to distract from the raffle,” he said.

On Friday he said he didn’t intend to dismiss the problem.

On the same day — Valentine’s Day — protesters traveled to the National Palace, where López Obrador lives and works to demand he apologize for his remarks and to demand an end to impunity for crimes against women.

Marches were expected to continue Saturday.

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