In Mexico, women protest against botched investigations

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HISTORY: On a Friday in Mexico City, women and girls - outraged by the sharp rise in violent crimes against women in Mexico - marched in the streets and shouted "Justice for Ari".
Propelling her to action - the recent death of 27-year-old Ariadna Lopez, who was found beside a highway in central Mexico's Morelos state in October.
Local investigators initially blamed excessive drinking for her death and were quick to declare that there were no signs of violence, but Lopez's family insisted something malicious had happened, pointing to the bruising on her body.
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A second autopsy performed by Mexico City officials revealed various blunt force injuries; Multiple traumas were the cause of her death.
Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum accused Morelos investigators of wanting to hide the violence because of alleged links to the killer – without presenting evidence.
Lopez's cousin, Michelle Andrade, echoed Mayor Sheinbaum's sentiments.
"The authorities are incompetent, deceitful and inadequate, not only in the case of Ari, but in the case of all those who are not here. The way things were done and the fact that information was hidden, the facts manipulated and they were victimized again, it wasn't satisfactory for the family."
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The Lopez case fits a grim pattern of flawed investigations into murders of women.
According to the government, over 5,600 women were killed in Mexico in the first 9 months of 2022.
Half was suspected manslaughter, just over a third murder and 12% femicide - the killing of a woman or girl because of sex - a more serious charge carrying up to 70 years in prison.
Data from 2019 showed that for every 100 women killed, only four resulted in convictions.
"It doesn't matter when she went out, how she dressed, if she was with someone, if she wasn't with someone, if she had kids, if she didn't have kids, it doesn't matter. We lose focus on the essentials, which is: the person who killed them, the people who killed them, why they did it and what punishments they will serve, because it's also very simple, because people see, that all cases go unpunished, it's so easy to do."
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The protesters wore purple, a symbol of gender equality, last Friday - and joined women across Latin America taking part in an international day of protest against gender-based violence, where mothers of murdered women and girls took to speakers to demand justice for to call for their relatives.
Claudia Scheinbaum
Mexican academic and politician

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