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The 'Invisible' Victims of Edomex, Mexico's Most Dangerous Place to be Female

Nina Lakhani - The Guardian
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April 17, 2015



Mothers with missing daughters accompany to Maria Eugenia Fuentes and his family at the funeral of her daughter Diana. (Ginnette Riquelme)

Sobbing mourners released a cloud of tiny white butterflies as a coffin holding the remains of 14-year-old Diane Angelica Castañeda Fuentes was lowered into the ground, 18 months after she disappeared on her way to a friend’s house in Ecatepec, a dusty suburb on the northern fringes of Mexico City.

Diana’s skull and feet had been found in a plastic bag dredged from a foul-smelling waterway known as the Great Canal, which runs through the State of Mexico – the country’s most densely populated state.

The schoolgirl, a devoted fan of One Direction and Justin Bieber, was the first to be positively identified after the remains of dozens of people were recovered last year from the black waters of the canal.

Her funeral on 26 March was attended by members of several other families whose own missing daughters are among the thousands of young women to have disappeared in the past decade from the state, known in Spanish as Edomex.

The mourners’ sorrow was shot through with anger as they called on the country’s authorities to stop the violence which has made Edomex the most dangerous place in Mexico to be female.

“Enough!” they cried. “Not one more girl!”

A staggering 1,258 girls and women were reported disappeared in Edomex in 2011 and 2012 – of whom 53% were aged between 10 and 17, according to figures obtained by the National Citizens Observatory on Femicides. Over the same period, 448 women were murdered in the state. Many of their mutilated bodies were left displayed in public places like roads, parks and shopping centres – an act which criminologists and feminist scholars say is associated with gender hate crimes.

Read the rest at The Guardian

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