Protesters march in Mexico City on April 24 to demand justice for murdered teen Debanhi Escobar Bazaldúa. Photo: Google

By MARK LORENZANA

The number of missing women in Mexico City has increased 900 percent so far under the administration of Mexico City Governor Claudia Sheinbaum, compared to the previous administration headed by Miguel Ángel Mancera.

According to Mexico’s National Data Registry of Missing or Disappeared Persons, the number of missing women in the capital increased from 93 cases (registered between Dec. 5, 2012 and June 16, 2016) to 930 cases (registered between Dec. 5, 2018 to June 16, 2022).

Of a total of 930 women who have disappeared so far during the Sheinbaum administration, 50 are age four and below, 35 are between five and nine years old, 126 are between 10 and 14 years old, 256 are between 15 and 19 years old, and 79 are between 20 and 24. Based on the data, majority of missing women in Mexico City are in the 10-and-19 age range.

According to the Capital Search Commission, in its 2021 report “Human Trafficking and Disappearance of Women in Mexico City,” one of the most probable causes of the uptick in cases is human trafficking.

“Human trafficking is linked to historical practices of unequal power relations between men and women, where they are seen as products that can be owned, sold and exploited,” the report states.

“Within this framework, widespread impunity tends to feed a vicious cycle. These dynamics are part of the normalized violence against women both in the country and in the capital.”

The number of missing women in Mexico City has skyrocketed since Sheinbaum took office in 2018. There were 22 registered cases in 2018, 228 in 2019, 277 in 2020 and 243 in 2021. Sheinbaum is a member of the leftist National Regeneration Movement (Morena) of Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO).

Cases of missing women and femicides are on the rise throughout the country, not just in Mexico City.

The problem of missing and disappeared women in Mexico is nationwide.

On April 23, Debanhi Susana Escobar Bazaldúa, an 18-year-old law student, was laid to rest two days after police found her body in a roadside hotel’s water tank in Monterrey, the largest city in the northeast Mexican state of Nuevo Leon. Escobar Bazaldúa had been missing for 13 days before her lifeless body was discovered.

Between July and August of last year, the number of gender-based murders of women in Mexico increased 57.3 percent, to a record total of 107 femicides, according to the Executive Secretariat of the National Public Security System (SESNSP).

In April of this year, hundreds of women marched through downtown Mexico City and its suburbs to protest the horrifying death of Escobar Bazaldúa, whose murder remains unsolved. On Wednesday, June 15, Undersecretary of the Secretariat for Security and Citizen Protection (SSPC) Ricardo Mejía Berdeja announced that Escobar Bazaldúa’s remains will be exhumed on June 30 to undergo a new autopsy.

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