Hundreds of women have taken to the streets of Mexico City to protest the grisly murder and mutilation of a young woman, spray painting “we won't be silenced” on the capital’s National Palace and facing off with riot police.
The killing last weekend of Ingrid Escamilla, of Mexico City, comes as Mexico is grappling with a rise in gender-related attacks. Her boyfriend, who has been arrested, purportedly confessed to killing the 25-year-old with a knife, mutilating her body and flushing part of her corpse into the sewer. But the outrage over the death has grown after some local media published photos of Escamilla's skinned corpse, apparently leaked by police officers.
“It enrages us how Ingrid was killed, and how the media put her body on display,” the protesters said in a statement read aloud Friday during the demonstrations.
“It enrages us that the public judges us, saying 'this isn't the right way to express your rage,'" they added. “We are not mad, we are furious.”
Protesters Friday morning first spray-painted slogans such as “we won't be silenced” on the facade and doorway of the capital's National Palace as President Andrés Manuel López Obrador held his daily news conference inside.
Hours later hundreds marched to the offices of a media outlet that published images of the crime scene, and a newspaper truck outside was set ablaze. Some spray-painted the plastic shields of riot officers as the crowd chanted “Not one more murdered!” and “Justice!” Police unleashed pepper spray in response.
In the evening, those remaining walked down the central Reforma boulevard, where some bus stop windows were shattered and signs vandalized.
About 10 women are killed each day across Mexico, the government and activists say. Last year, there were 3,825 in all, up 7 percent from 2018, according to federal figures.
Not only have attacks on women in Mexico become more frequent, but they have also become more grisly, the Associated Press reported. In September, a young female musician in the southern state of Oaxaca was burned with acid by two men who testified they were hired by a former politician and businessman who allegedly had an affair with her.
In the past, women's protests in Mexico City were criticized for damaging historical monuments and city infrastructure, but the damage Friday was minor, and criticism almost non-existent.
Instead, officials condemned media outlets for publishing the photos and said they were investigating police who may have taken the pictures with their cellphones at the crime scene.
The Interior Department said in a statement it “condemns the publication and distribution of such material, given that it re-victimizes people and promotes sensationalism and morbid curiosity. It is an attack on the dignity, privacy, and identity of the victims and their families.”
The president said Friday morning from the colonial-era palace amid the protests that such killings were hate crimes and “an act of brutal machismo.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.