Mexico City residents outraged over a recent wave of violence against women are now grappling with the killing of a 7-year-old girl.
The child, identified by prosecutors as Fatima, was found dead over the weekend after a mystery woman abducted her outside her school last week. The child’s body was wrapped in a bag and abandoned in a rural area on the outskirts of Mexico’s capital — and now five people are being questioned in the case.
“Justice has to be done, for my daughter and for all women,” said the girl’s mother, Maria Magdalena Antón.
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Fatima’s abduction and killing came just days after Ingrid Escamilla, a young Mexico City resident, was murdered, allegedly by her boyfriend. That man, who has been arrested and purportedly confessed to killing Escamilla with a knife, mutilated her body and flushed part of her corpse into the sewer, police said.
Hundreds of women stormed the streets of Mexico City last week to protest Escamilla’s killing after some local media published photos of her skinned corpse, apparently leaked by city police officers.
In Fatima’s case, she was last seen alive on Feb. 11. The cause of her death has not been released, but video footage of her abduction exists, according to the Associated Press.
The investigation is now focused on identifying the woman seen walking away from the school with the girl. Prosecutors are offering a $100,000 reward for information.
At government schools in urban areas of Mexico, children simply walk out on the street after classes end. Although their parents are often waiting outside, it is not the school’s responsibility to make sure someone is waiting to meet them.
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Guillermo Anton Godínez, the girl’s grandfather, said Monday his daughter arrived at the school 15 or 20 minutes after the mystery woman led the girl away. He added that his granddaughter had left the school wearing her uniform, but the woman had put a green shirt and pants on her.
He said his daughter was initially told by authorities that Fatima had to be missing for 72 hours before they could begin searching for her. However, the prosecutor’s office said an Amber alert was issued for Fatima the same day relatives reported her missing.
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“She could have been found alive, but nobody paid attention to us,” said Sonia López, the girl’s aunt.
Later, family and friends gathered for a wake at the family’s home to mourn Fatima’s death.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.