Mexican police are looking into reports that a female vigilante, disguising herself in a blonde wig or dyed hair, is responsible for the murder of two bus drivers last week in the northern city of Ciudad Juárez.
The first murder was committed on the morning of Wednesday 28 August, when a woman disguising herself in a blonde wig or dyed hair, boarded one of the local Ciudad Juárez buses and shot the driver in the head at point blank range. The following the day, a woman of the same description carried out the same execution on another driver on the same route.
It is thought that the suspect is acting in response a string of more than 100 eerily similar killings of women in the 1990s and early 2000s, many of which began after the victims boarded buses in and around Ciudad Juárez, a city bordering Mexico and the US.
During the weekend media outlets in Mexico received emails from the address “Diana the hunter of bus drivers”, in which the sender said: "I am the instrument of vengeance for several women."
"I myself and other women have suffered in silence but we can't stay quiet anymore," the self-styled 'Diana' said in the email. "We were victims of sexual violence by the drivers on the night shift.”
Mexican authorities have not verified the authenticity of the email, or of a Facebook page set up under a similar name.
The government said it would put undercover police aboard some buses and conduct weapons searches to prevent further killings, and announced that a citywide search for the suspect had already begun.
"We have a police sketch of the suspect and we are looking for her," municipal police spokesman Adrian Sanchez said.
Several bus drivers were arrested in connection with the 1990s-2000s killings referenced in the “Diana” email, but the cases against them appeared either weak or insubstantial. One of the suspected drivers had his conviction overturned, and his co-defendant, another bus driver, died in prison before sentencing.
Lucha Castro, the head of the Chihuahua Women's Human Rights Center, said that perhaps the killer "or someone close to her suffered some abuse by one of these guys."
Castro added: "It's a fact that there are sexual abuse cases on the bus routes, but it's no greater than women disappearing from the streets in downtown, in human trafficking rings."
Additional reporting Associated Press