Mexicans march to protest violence against women

A demonstrator holds a placard as she takes part in a march in honor of Mara Fernanda Castilla, 19, who was found dead near a motel in Puebla, and to stop what they say is violence against women in the country in Monterey, Mexico. (Source: REUTERS) Top News

Thousands of women of all ages marched today through Mexico City, demanding justice in the case of a young woman who was kidnapped and murdered. “It wasn’t your fault, Mara,” read a sign carried by one marcher, rejecting attempts to shift the blame on the victim, 19-year-old Mara Castilla, for having gone out alone at night.

Castilla’s body was found Friday in the neighbouring state of Puebla, a week after she left a nightclub and got in a private vehicle.

Prosecutors say the driver kidnapped her and took her to a hotel, where he sexually assaulted her and strangled and beat her to death. Afterward, he dumped the body in an area near the hotel.

The demonstrators marched from Mexico City’s Zocalo, or central plaza, to the attorney general’s office where they staged performances denouncing the inaction of the authorities in the face of violence against women. “We live with fear and that is a reality,” said Pixie, a 27-year-old teacher who covered her face in a fuschia coloured ski mask to evoke the vulnerability many women experience.

Edgar Arriaga, a 22-year-old sociology student, criticised what he said was the “criminalisation of women.” “It seems unjust to me to say that because you go out at night, because you like to party, or something like that, that it’s a justification for murder.”

Castilla’s murder was the 83rd of a woman documented in Puebla this year by civic organisations and the 59th publicly acknowledged by the state attorney’s office.

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