Saturday, October 16, 2021

Mexican reporter puts faces on cases of disappearance and femicide

Mexico City, Oct 15 (EFE).- Journalist Lydiette Carrion gathers in her book “La fosa de agua” (The grave of water) her research into the disappearances and murders of women in Mexico’s central same-named state, cases about which – she said – the “concrete truth” must be uncovered.

“Where are the teenagers who have disappeared? Who took them? What happened to them? Where are they?” asked Carrion in an interview with EFE.

The book delves into several cases of disappearance in Mexico state, as well as the murders of six young women between the ages of 14 and 19, pointing up the lack of results in the official investigations and the gaps and irregularities in the judicial procedures surrounding them.

The independent journalist began thoroughly investigating these issues in 2011 and she says that “it was society itself” that led her to this task.

In researching the subject, she did not want to focus on the “quantitative issue,” but rather on the stories with their real names and faces, thanks to the illustrations of Jimena Estibaliz. Among the stories she recounts are those of Bianca Edith Barron, Diana Angelica Castañeda and Mariana Elizabeth Yañez.

“I spoke with the moms, the dads … What made the biggest impression on me was the destruction that a person’s disappearance leaves behind,” she said.

The bodies of many girls who disappeared in Mexico state, or parts of them, were found in the Los Remedios River.

Those grisly finds, as well as the uncertainty that reigns regarding the women who still have not been found, “creates a frightening anxiety and completely changes the panorama of their families, their community, their school, their colleagues and friends,” she emphasized.

In Mexico state, the level of violence against women “is well-known,” but “the issue is that the necessary measures to get rid of it are not being taken,” she said.

According to figures compiled by the National Citizens Observatory on Femicide (OCNF), in Mexico state at least 1,420 women were killed between 2014 and 2017.

In 2015, a sexual violence alert program was implemented and it is currently used in 11 towns in the region. To date, Carrion said, the program “has not shown the necessary results.”

Nevertheless, she said that social organizations are asking that it be continued, albeit with more effort devoted to implementing it, “because it’s the only tool that has been there up to now.”

Also, the attitude of the authorities must turn around: “Because there’s no quick action or real interest, the clues that could be there are lost, and when it’s about disappearances the first few hours count for a lot.”

Carrion says that, although periodically a single killer will turn up who has killed multiple women and/or girls, the signs often point to “organized crime.”