The killing of a seven-year-old girl on the southern outskirts of Mexico City has stoked rising anger about brutal slayings of women, including one found stabbed to death and skinned earlier this month.
The city prosecutor’s office said on Monday that investigators identified a body found over the weekend as that of Fatima, a grade-school student who was taken by a stranger on Februaury 11. By law, prosecutors do not give the full name of victims.
Her body was found wrapped in a bag and abandoned in a rural area on Saturday and was identified by genetic testing. The cause of death has not been released. Five people have been questioned in the case, and video footage of her abduction exists.
Prosecutors’ spokesman Ulises Lara offered a $100,000 reward for information on the person who picked her up when she left school.
The abduction and killing of the seven-year-old came just two days after Ingrid Escamilla, a young Mexico City resident, was allegedly murdered by a boyfriend. The man, who has been arrested and purportedly confessed to killing Escamilla with a knife, mutilated her body and flushed part of her corpse into the sewer.
Outrage grew after local media published horrific photos of the skinned corpse, apparently leaked by city police officers.
Protesters read a statement Friday saying, “It enrages us how Ingrid was killed, and how the media put her body on display.”
The killings have proved a politically difficult issue for President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who said protests over the killings were an attempt to distract attention from his social programmes.
Last week, Lopez Obrador showed little patience for those who questioned him about the government’s commitment to fighting violence against women.
“This issue has been manipulated a lot in the media,” the president said on Monday, adding, “I don’t want the issue just to be women’s killings.”
On Monday, Lopez Obrador defended his record, saying, “We are working so that there won’t be any more women’s killings.”
But referring to protests last week over Escamilla’s killing, in which demonstrators spray-painted the doors and walls of the colonial-era National Palace, the president said: “They shouldn’t paint our doors and walls.”