Missing girl found dead, fueling outrage over gender violence in Mexico
MONTERREY, Mexico — The body of a Mexican teenager who went missing this month in the northern state of Nuevo Leon has been found submerged in a cistern inside the grounds of a motel near where she was last seen alive, according to her father.
Debanhi Escobar, a 18-year-old law student, vanished on April 9, amid a spate of disappearances of women in Nuevo Leon’s capital Monterrey that has sparked protests and intensified international scrutiny of gender violence in Mexico.
Twenty-six women and girls have disappeared in Nuevo Leon since the beginning of the year and five more have been found dead after being reported missing.
Debanhi was last seen alive standing next to a highway in a photo snapped by a driver contracted to take her home after a party.
On Friday, her father, Mario Escobar, accused the driver of trying to grope his daughter’s breasts, citing video camera footage, suggesting this is what led her to get out of the car. What happened after she exited the vehicle is unclear.
In an interview with local media, Escobar also identified the body in the cistern as that of his daughter, and accused authorities of mishandling the investigation.
“My daughter is dead because of incompetent (authorities), and because of sexual harassers,” he said.
The state attorney general’s office said no one is currently in custody in relation to the case.
The driver could not be reached for comment.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador gave his condolences to the family on Friday and said the teenager’s death could be investigated by the federal attorney general’s office at the family’s request so that there are “no doubts” over the case.
In northern Mexico, authorities search for missing women amid spate of disappearances
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