Mexico City kills sparks of anger over violence against women

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By Daina Beth Solomon

MEXICO CITY, February 11 (Reuters) – The gruesome murder of a 25-year-old woman in the Mexican capital has caused outrage among government officials and legal groups after leaked photos of her mutilated body appeared on the front page of a newspaper.

The prosecutor’s office will demand the maximum sentence for the murder of Ingrid Escamilla, the mayor of the capital said on Tuesday, adding that a suspect had been arrested for the crime that occurred in an apartment north of the city center over the weekend.

Protest marches against violence against women have increased in recent months as protesters set fire to government buildings and stained monuments with graffiti.

In 2018, an average of 10 women were killed per day in Mexico. Officially, this was the year with the highest number of female murders in three decades. Of women affected by violence, more than 40% were victims of their partners.

Escamilla’s murder was a particularly cruel example of brutality in a country used to regular violence.

The police found the young woman’s body often without organs.

A man identified by the media as the detained suspect appeared in a bloodstained video and spoke to the police. Media said the man was the woman’s partner. A police spokeswoman referred questions about the case to the prosecutor.

A photo of the victim can be seen on the cover of Pasala, a newspaper that shows scary stories and photos on its front pages, often with violent headlines.

The headline accompanying Escamilla’s photo read: “It was Cupid’s fault.” The Pasala editorial team did not respond to a request for comment.

The Mexico City Procuratorate said Tuesday that it was investigating six officers to determine who leaked the images.

Some social media users responded to the bloody photo with pictures of Escamilla, which she shows smiling and confident, with neatly combed hair and light lipstick.

“Out of respect for you and your family, this is the only way I want to remember,” wrote one user on Twitter, in which #IngridEscamilla and #JusticeForIngrid were the trend topics.

The National Women’s Institute of Mexico (Inmujeres) condemned the publication of the photo and the crime.

“Mexico faces an enormous challenge when it comes to violence against women,” the institute said. “We urge the media to work rigorously and professionally.”

Milenio Television reported that Escamilla filed a complaint against her partner a few months ago, but later withdrew it. (Reporting by Daina Beth Solomon editing by Robert Birsel)

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