Death Of Mexican Girl Spotlights Epidemic Of Crimes Against Women And Children The death of a 7-year-old girl has fueled outrage over the perils of being female in Mexico, where there is a high rate of crimes against women.
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Death Of Mexican Girl Spotlights Epidemic Of Crimes Against Women And Children

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Death Of Mexican Girl Spotlights Epidemic Of Crimes Against Women And Children

Death Of Mexican Girl Spotlights Epidemic Of Crimes Against Women And Children

Death Of Mexican Girl Spotlights Epidemic Of Crimes Against Women And Children

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/807117720/807117721" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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The death of a 7-year-old girl has fueled outrage over the perils of being female in Mexico, where there is a high rate of crimes against women.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Supporters have gathered outside a home on the outskirts of Mexico City for days now. The family inside is mourning the death of their 7-year-old girl. She was kidnapped a week ago, and her body was found several days later. As NPR's Carrie Kahn reports, Mexicans see the killing as part of an epidemic of crimes against women and children.

CARRIE KAHN, BYLINE: Hundreds crowded around the tiny white coffin of 7-year-old Fatima at her humble home in the southern reaches of Mexico City...

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UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: (Chanting in Spanish).

KAHN: ...Chanting Fatima, this is your fight. The mourners' anger over the young girl's murder has filled social media and the Mexican press. It was a week ago when an unidentified woman caught on neighborhood surveillance cameras picked Fatima up from her local elementary school. Her mother arrived 15 minutes later, and relatives immediately reported the girl's abduction. According to press reports, the family was made to wait hours and travel between multiple police offices before authorities issued alerts. Four days later, the girl's body, wrapped in a plastic bag, was found in a rural area.

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MARIA MAGDALENA ANTON: (Speaking Spanish).

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KAHN: At her daughter's coffin's side, her mother screams to the large crowd of mourners that she is indignant not just for her daughter but for all the women and girls who have suffered unspeakable violence in Mexico. Local authorities have come under criticism for their handling of the case. Mexico City's mayor, Claudia Sheinbaum, told reporters outside the capital's morgue that Fatima's murder will not go unpunished.

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CLAUDIA SHEINBAUM PARDO: (Speaking Spanish).

KAHN: "There was a chain of negligence in this case," Sheinbaum said. Fatima's murder comes just days after another brutal killing of a young woman in Mexico City, this time at the hands of an ex-boyfriend. The man was arrested after allegedly stabbing the woman to death and mutilating her body. Women in Mexico have taken to the streets and, in some cases, defaced public buildings to protest what they say has been the government's poor response. Mexico's President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador didn't help matters when he urged protesters to act more responsibly.

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PRESIDENT ANDRES MANUEL LOPEZ OBRADOR: (Speaking Spanish).

KAHN: "I asked the feminists, with all respect, not to paint the walls or doors," said Lopez Obrador. He assured reporters that his government is working hard to combat gender-based violence, although he gave no specifics. Denise Dresser, a Mexico City professor and columnist, says the government is more concerned with preserving monuments than women's lives.

DENISE DRESSER: He has called for the women to behave themselves, to be peaceful. And he seems to be out of place. He doesn't understand what is fueling the anger.

KAHN: Activists say 10 Mexican women are killed in the country every day.

Carrie Kahn, NPR News, Mexico City.

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