Ingrid Escamilla, 25, was brutally murdered in Mexico City
Feminist protesters hurled blood-red paint at Mexico’s presidential palace yesterday as hundreds of women protested against the gruesome murder and mutilation of a young woman who was ‘stabbed, skinned and dismembered.’
Protesters spray-painted slogans such as ‘femicide state’ and ‘We won’t be silenced’ on the doorway of the National Palace as President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador was holding his daily news conference inside.
The heated Valentine’s Day demonstration, led by women, stemmed from outrage in recent days over the killing of 25-year-old Ingrid Escamilla in Mexico City and the publication of graphic photos of her mutilated corpse in newspapers.
One protester spray painted ‘INGRID’ in tall pink letters on another palace door in tribute. Many participants noted that her death was only the latest example in a wave of brutal murders of women that have been dubbed ‘femicides’.
Protesters spray-painted slogans such as ‘femicide state’ and ‘We won’t be silenced’ on the doorway of the National Palace
They are protesting over the killing of 25-year-old Ingrid Escamilla in Mexico City and the publication of graphic photos of her mutilated corpse in newspapers.
Protesters are furious at a rise in violence and murder against women in Mexico
Police unleashed pepper spray during the demonstration after bus stops were smashed
Some spray-painted the plastic shields of riot officers as the crowd chanted ‘Not one more murdered!’ and ‘Justice!’
As police unleashed pepper spray protesters smashed bus stop windows vandalized signs.
Hundreds also marched to the offices of a media outlet that published grisly images of the crime scene and a newspaper truck outside was set ablaze.
About 10 women are slain each day across Mexico just because they are women, the government and activists say.
Last year there were 3,825 in all, which was up 7 per cent from 2018, according to federal figures.
‘It’s not just Ingrid. There are thousands of femicides,’ said Lilia Florencio Guerrero, whose daughter was violently killed in 2017. ‘It fills us with anger and rage.’
She called on President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who was inside the palace as the protests continued, to do more to stop the violence.
Others graffitied slogans including ‘they are killing us’ on the building’s walls and ejected bright flames from cans of flammable spray paint.
Erik Francisco Robledo, 46, is pictured covered in blood at the time of his arrest on suspicion of murder and mutilation of his wife, Ingrid Escamilla Vargas, 25, in Mexico City
A stands guard outside the National Palace, the presidential office and residence, during a demonstration against gender violence in Mexico City
A masked, female protester stands with a sign before the media at the entrance to the National Palace
Not only have attacks on women become more frequent, they have become more grisly.
In September, a young female musician in the southern state of Oaxaca was burned with acid by two men who testified they had been hired by a former politician and businessman who allegedly had an affair with her.
But the killing last weekend of Miss Escamilla, a young Mexico City resident who was allegedly murdered by a boyfriend, has horrified Mexicans for its brutality.
The 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.
Indignation grew after some local media published horrific photos of the skinned corpse, apparently leaked by city police officers.
The protesters read a statement Friday saying ‘it enrages us how Ingrid was killed, and how the media put her body on display.’
Police unleashed pepper spray on the demonstrators during the protests in Mexico
Journalists record as police spray fire extinguishers during a protest against gender violence in Mexico City
‘It enrages us that the public judges us, saying ‘this isn’t the right way to express your rage,” the statement continued. ‘We are not mad, we are furious.’
In the past, women’s protests in Mexico City had been criticized for spray-painting historical monuments and trashing city infrastructure, but the damage Friday was minor, and criticism almost non-existent.
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 in the colonial-era palace as the protesters were outside that such killings were hate crimes and ‘an act of brutal machismo.’
He said: ‘I’m not burying my head in the sand … The government I represent will always take care of ensuring the safety of women.’
La Prensa, a newspaper that ran the gruesome image on its cover, defended its record of reporting on crime and murder, subjects it said the government prefers to keep quiet. The paper also said it was open to discussion on adjusting its standards beyond legal requirements.
‘We understand today that it hasn’t been sufficient, and we’ve entered a process of deeper review,’ the paper said in a front-page statement on Friday.
Newspaper Pasala had filled nearly its entire tabloid cover with the photo, under the Valentine’s Day-themed headline: ‘It was cupid’s fault’.
The cover sparked anger not only at the gory display, but also the jocular tone over a crime for which Escamilla’s domestic partner has been arrested.
Pasala editors did not respond to requests for comment.
Protesters deface riot police shields with spray paint during a demonstration against gender violence in Mexico City