A Mexican woman who was campaigning for justice for her murdered teenage daughter has herself been killed. Marisela Escobedo was shot dead by masked gunmen outside the state governor’s office in Chihuahua in northern Mexico. Feminicide is alive and well.
According to news reports she had been protesting against the release of the man accused of murdering her daughter in Ciudad Juarez in 2008. State Governor Cesar Duarte said he believes the killing was an act of revenge by the alleged murderer. He announced he would seek to have the judges who released him removed from their posts.
Mrs Escobedo, 52, was shot in the head at close range by one of three masked men who approached her as she was protesting on Thursday evening. She died in hospital. She had been protesting in Chihuahua and Ciudad Juarez since April, when judges released the man suspected of killing her 17-year-old daughter Rubi, saying there was not enough evidence to convict him.
Rubi’s dismembered and burned body was found dumped in Ciudad Juarez in 2008. The suspect, her boyfriend, joined the Zetas drug cartel after his release, Mrs Escobeda alleged in a newspaper interview last week.
Femicide is the killing of women; feminicide is the killing of women for being women. In Ciudad Juarez the estimated number of murdered women is now more than 400. Many local people believe it is far greater.
The victims of these crimes have mainly been young women between 12 and 22 years of age. Many were students, and most were maquiladora workers. A number were relative newcomers to Ciudad Juarez who had migrated from other areas of Mexico.
The situation is no better in Guatemala where, in recent years and up to the present, thousands of women and girls have been murdered. Yet the killers are rarely brought to justice
It is time the Mexican and Guatemalan governments acted. It is time for the much vaunted “international community” to put pressure on Felipe Calderón, President of Mexico, and Álvaro Colom Caballeros, President of Guatemala, to intervene.
If anyone is offended by the expletive in this blog’s title, apologies. On second thoughts…