Investigation ordered into deaths of Mexico City women
Wednesday 07 March 2012
A judge has ordered Mexican authorities to investigate the killings
of women in the suburbs of Mexico City, reviving a sensitive issue
related to a former governor who is a leading candidate in the
Judge Jose Alvarado ruled a national, multi-government agency formed to fight violence against women should reconsider a request by activists to declare a state of alert for central Mexico State, women's rights activist Maria de la Luz Estrada said.
Human rights groups say hundreds of women have been killed or gone missing in recent years in that state, which lies next to Mexico City and is home to 13 million people.
Ms Estrada said her group has documented more than 1,000 killings of women during the six-year administration of former Governor Enrique Pena Nieto, who is a leading contender in the July 1 presidential election.
State authorities did not immediately comment on the ruling, which was issued on February 27 but not revealed until yesterday.
The issue recalled the campaign for justice waged by relatives of women killed in the border city of Ciudad Juarez, where dozens of women were tortured, raped and killed prompting a women's rights movement that garnered international attention.
"Authorities in Mexico State don't investigate and instead blame the victims for their own deaths, or in many cases say they committed suicide, without doing a proper investigation," said Ms Estrada, who co-ordinates the National Citizens Observers on Women's Killings.
Political analyst John Ackerman, of the legal research institute at Mexico's National Autonomous University, said the case could be "another stone in the shoe of Pena Nieto that he's going to have to deal with" during the campaign.
The judge's ruling was aimed at the National Agency for Prevention and Eradication of Violence Against Women, which was formed in 2007 from federal, state and local agencies to declare violence alerts and follow up with education, prosecution and prevention programs.
Twenty of 34 agency representatives voted last year against declaring an alert for Mexico State, a move that would have required authorities at all three levels of government to co-ordinate investigations of gender violence.
The agency can appeal the judge's ruling.
Mr Pena Nieto and his supporters have said Mexico State's per-capita homicide rate is no worse than in the country's other states and suggested the requests for a state of alert were politically motivated. Mr Pena Nieto could not be reached for comment.
A study by the United Nations women's organisation found the number of killings of women in Mexico State was in line with the national average and decreased between 2004 and 2009.
There were 5.43 women killed per 100,000 in 2004 and 3.66 in 2009, the study said. The national rate increased from 2.46 to 3.4 per 100,000 over the same period, it said.
Ms Estrada denied activists are zeroing in on Mexico State, saying her group has also requested alerts be declared in the states of Oaxaca, Guanajuato and Nuevo Leon.
In Nuevo Leon, a war between two rival drug cartels killed more than 2,000 people last year, including more than 300 women. In Ciudad Juarez, where 1,200 were killed in drug-related attacks, 196 women were killed in 2011.
- 1 Stem cells that can kill cancer have been engineered by scientists
- 2 Ricky Gervais and Dame Judi Dench back campaign to stop Thailand dog meat trade
- 3 Russell Brand says he will 'probably' give up acting to focus on his revolution
- 4 Kentucky gang rape: 15-year-old boy left in critical condition after sexual attack by group at party
- 5 Queen's first tweet: Reply telling Her Majesty to 'f*** off' broadcast on BBC News
Stem cells that can kill cancer have been engineered by scientists
Ottawa shooting: 'Sergeant-at-arms shot suspect at point-blank range after diving around pillar'
Russell Brand says he will 'probably' give up acting to focus on his revolution
McKamey Manor: This 'extreme' haunted house is the stuff of nightmares
Jack Bruce dead: Cream bass player dies of liver disease aged 71
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Tony Blair 'says Ed Miliband will lose 2015 general election'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Putin: The US is to blame for almost all the world's major conflicts
Attacks on 'Ukip Calypso' show how skewed people’s priorities are
£110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for spe...
£40000 - £50000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...
£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...
£35000 - £40000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...