Women’s/Human Rights News
A welling reservoir of outrage and frustration spilled into the streets of a Mexican coastal resort town July 1 as residents protested the brutal murder of a 10-year-old girl.
Marching along the principal avenues of Zihuatanejo, Guerrero, about 250 people demanded justice and exemplary punishment for the killer or killers of Aleyda Yuritizi Carmona Marquez. Shouts of “burn them alive!” were heard rising from a crowd that included protesters dressed in mourning black.
Aleyda Carmona disappeared June 26 while on her way to school in the Vicente Guerrero neighborhood of Zihuatanejo. Her naked and bound body, bearing signs of torture and sexual assault, was discovered the next day in a public space in Vicente Guerrero. Strangulation was reported as the cause of death.
“Zihua doesn’t deserve these (bastards),“ said protester Guadalupe Maldonado. “They should grab them, hang them and kill them. We don’t want these bastards in Zihua. The women of Zihua are indignant…we are fed up, tired and furious. We’ve had it up to here. Enough is enough!”
Maria Abraham Marquez, Aleyda Carmona’s aunt, expressed a similar sentiment.
“If at all possible, I would like to burn (the killer),” she said. “We want to be allowed to hang and exhibit him, because something like the (rape-murder) should not be done. My niece was killed in a way worse than a criminal. She was innocent, just barely beginning life. I am tired of crying. I can’t do it anymore.”
Instances of suspected criminals doused with gasoline and then set on fire or otherwise violently lynched by enraged mobs have occurred in recent years in different regions of Mexico, as public resentment mounts over widespread violence and impunity.
Zihuatanejo City Councilwoman Erika Lorenzo Cabrera demanded that Guerrero Governor Angel Aguirre get personally involved in the Carmona murder case, saying she would also propose that the municipal council stay on top of the authorities responsible for investigating the crime. Prior to the July 1 protest, another march staged by Aleyda’s family members, neighbors and classmates likewise demanded justice. An additional demonstration has been scheduled for Monday, July 7.
Aleyda Carmona was found murdered in a section of Zihuatanejo where previous episodes of violence connected to the drug trade or common criminal activity have disturbed the community. The school girl’s killing revived a “psychosis” over the safety of children in the Pacific coast town.
Earlier this year, in the latter half of February, reports of strangers photographing children outside of schools spread throughout Zihuatanejo and surrounding communities. Though never confirmed, stories of attempted abductions and even the discovery of mutilated children’s bodies, with their organs removed, buzzed in the grapevine as well. Municipal and education system authorities responded to public fears by increasing security at schools.
It is not clear if Aleyda Carmona’s killing is in any way connected to the earlier spate reports and rumors. Juan Jimenez Romero, an official with the Zihuatanejo branch of the Guerrero state attorney general’s office, pledged justice will served in the little girl’s murder.
Meantime, parents are on edge. Another 10-year-old girl was reported missing in the days following Aleyda Carmona’s killing, but was quickly found safe and sound before a formal complaint could be filed with law enforcement authorities.
Interested readers can view a Spanish-language news report on one of the demonstrations held in response to Aleyda Carmona’s murder at:
Sources: Despertar de la Costa, July 3, 2014. El Sur, July 2, 2014. Article by Brenda Escobar. La Jornada (Guerrero edition), June 30, 2014. Article by Hercilia Castro. La Voz de Zihuatanejo. June 29, 2014.
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