Friday, September 22

Murders of women on rise in Mexico. Body of missing young woman found

  • The body of Debanhi Escobar, 18, was found Thursday in northern Mexico after she had gone missing for nearly two weeks.
  • Her death is the latest in a growing wave of “feminicides,” a legal term used in Mexico when women are killed because of their gender.
  • Such killings in Mexico rose to 1,015 in 2021, up from 977 cases in 2020. Killings of women overall are much higher and disappearances are high, too.

MEXICO CITY – The haunting story of a young woman left on the side of a highway late at night in northern Mexico ended in sorrow, with her decomposing body found in a subterranean water tank at a motel.

Assistant Public Safety Secretary Ricardo Mejia said Friday that the woman’s body – apparently unrecognizable after what may have been nearly two weeks in the water – had a crucifix necklace and clothing that Debanhi Escobar was wearing the night she disappeared.

Despite what authorities in the border state of Nuevo Leon described as a massive search for her, the story ended the way it often does in Mexico: when her body was found by local people.

“The alert was sounded by hotel workers, because of the fetid odors coming from the area,” Mejia said.

State prosecutors later said they had confirmed the body was Escobar’s.

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Flowers on the facade of the Attorney General's office surround an image of Debanhi Escobar during a protest against the disappearance of Escobar and other women who have gone missing, in Mexico City, Friday, April 22, 2022.

Young woman was among many gone missing in Mexico

Escobar’s case made headlines because of a haunting photo taken by a driver who was supposed to take her home that night. It was not clear why she got out of the car, but her father, Mario Escobar, said prosecutors told him that surveillance camera footage suggested the driver inappropriately touched his daughter.

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