Edomex, a state in Mexico located near Mexico City, is currently the most dangerous place to be a female in Mexico. Late last month, the remains of 14-year-old Diane Angelica Castañeda Fuentes were finally laid to rest. Fuentes was on her way to a friend’s house on September 7, 2013 when she disappeared in the city of Ecatepec. Her remains were eventually discovered in the Great Canal of Ecatepec. This seems to be a common occurrence in the state of Edomex. In 2011 and 2012, over 1200 girls and women were reported missing, 53% of them were between the ages of 10 and 17. During this time, over 400 women were murdered and their mutilated bodies were displayed in public places and it’s believed these acts are associated with gender hate crimes. A similar situation happened between 1993-2005, 379 women were murdered in the city Ciudad Juárez. Protests and media coverage brought on a new legislation in the state. However, 10 times as many women have been murdered in Edomex in just a year’s time, most of them go unreported and unnoticed by the outside world.
The authorities received a tip off and searched the Great Canal of Ecatepec and recovered the remains of 40-60 bodies. This is how they came across the remains of Fuentes. Mexico doesn’t have a national DNA databank, so thousands of unidentified bodies are buried. Since 2010, there has been a coalition of 43 groups that have documented and petitioned for awareness of gender-based violence. However, government officials say they need more proof that these cases are related to gender based violence and they have “more important issues to deal with”.
It saddens me that the Mexican government isn’t doing more to bring justice to women in Mexico. Personally, I think these crimes are definitely related to gender-based violence crimes. They have “more important issues to deal with”, but this seems like it has been an ongoing issue and it will continue to happen unless the government steps in.