After 4 days with none signal of Díaz, 30, they blocked the road in entrance of her faculty for hours to demand motion from authorities. Two days later, her physique was discovered alongside a freeway.
Girls in Mexico state, which wraps round Mexico Metropolis on three sides, had been already dying at a daunting tempo. From January to November, there have been 131 femicides — circumstances of ladies killed due to their gender. Díaz was the ninth obvious femicide throughout an 11-day spate of killings in and round Mexico Metropolis from late October to early November.
The nation noticed greater than 1,000 femicides final yr — second solely to Brazil in Latin America. On common, 10 ladies or women are killed day by day nationwide. Officers have acknowledged the femicide fee and violence in opposition to ladies as problematic for many years, but little progress is obvious in nationwide information.
Consultants and advocates say the rampant killings and historical past of femicide could be attributed to cultural machismo, gender inequality and home violence, in addition to a justice system riddled with issues — cops who don’t take studies, clumsy investigations, officers who revictimize ladies.
With so many circumstances of femicide, most get little consideration. However the latest run of killings, paired with the protests from Díaz’s household, put strain on authorities and garnered headlines.
Three days after Díaz disappeared, Supreme Court docket President Arturo Zaldívar known as for a nationwide protocol for dealing with femicides. The subsequent day, at his day by day press convention, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador mentioned he agreed.
Some states have tried to handle the issue by creating prosecutor’s places of work for gender crimes. The federal authorities has declared greater than two dozen gender violence alerts since 2015. The alerts obligate native, state and federal authorities to take coordinated emergency motion and to handle biases in entry to justice.
In Mexico state, an alert was declared in 2015. It nonetheless stands. Ecatepec is among the state’s 11 municipalities working below that alert. However by authorities’ personal admission, positive aspects from alerts and different measures are restricted.
Six days after Díaz disappeared, Olvera discovered herself taking a look at photographs of her sister’s physique, as photographs started circulating of the newest dumped sufferer. Olvera acknowledged her sister’s pants, her footwear, her fingers.
“They left her tossed out like a bag of rubbish.”
Within the wake of the killings of lots of of ladies and women within the state of Chihuahua within the late Nineteen Nineties and early 2000s, Mexican legislators shaped a fee on femicide. The panel discovered that regardless of alarming violence in opposition to ladies nationally, it was practically unattainable to get correct information displaying the scope of the issue.
On account of the fee’s work, the Common Legislation for Girls’s Entry to a Life Freed from Violence was signed in 2007. It created the gender violence alerts. In 2010, lawmakers added femicide to the federal prison code.
Nonetheless, final yr there have been greater than double the variety of femicides nationally than in 2015, in line with federal information. A few of that improve could possibly be attributed to raised record-keeping — not all Mexican states had codified femicide as a criminal offense till 2017 — however the dying toll has risen yearly.
Dilcya García, who leads Mexico state’s prosecutor’s workplace on gender violence, mentioned the difficulty is a part of the cement of the social construction: “Violence in opposition to ladies could be very difficult to deal with.”
The day after Díaz’s household blocked the road in Ecatepec, García sat down with them. The prosecutor instructed them she was dedicated to discovering Díaz, however raised the chance she won’t be alive.
Later, it might be García who known as Olvera to inform her they discovered her sister’s physique.
In Ecatepec, a bed room neighborhood of 1.8 million with one in all Mexico’s highest concentrations of poverty, Díaz was lucky to have a job she beloved. She’d had her troubles. Díaz had her daughter Keila when she was 19. She left the woman’s father after bouts of home violence, in line with her sister Olvera.
She moved in together with her mother and father and waited tables, struggling to make ends meet. Then she discovered Fast Studying, a series of English faculties, the place she studied earlier than occurring to show.
This yr, Díaz met Jesús Alexis Álvarez Ortiz, an athletic 27-year-old who labored at a lodge. He was possessive, Olvera mentioned, and he or she noticed modifications in her sister. She misplaced weight, stayed out late. Nonetheless, she by no means missed work.
The night Díaz disappeared, her boyfriend confirmed up on the household residence. Álvarez Ortiz appeared nervous, tripping over his phrases and altering his story, Olvera mentioned.
The subsequent day, Díaz’s mother and father went to the college, the place they discovered Álvarez Ortiz once more. He accompanied them to report Díaz’s disappearance to police. Two days later, Álvarez Ortiz stopped answering the household’s messages and calls. His mom reported him lacking.
Authorities say that after leaving her residence that afternoon, Díaz took one taxi to a shopping mall, then one other to Álvarez Ortiz’s home. Surveillance video confirmed her enter the house however by no means depart. A search of the house turned up Díaz’s blood-stained clothes.
Two days after Díaz’s physique was discovered, police arrested Álvarez Ortiz’s mom. The subsequent day, they arrested him. An post-mortem indicated Díaz had been crushed and died of a blow to the top.
Álvarez Ortiz has been jailed on a cost of pressured disappearance. Diaz’s household hopes that at his subsequent listening to, in March, prosecutors will probably be prepared so as to add a femicide cost.
A lawyer for Álvarez Ortiz did reply to messages left by The Related Press at a faculty the place he teaches.
Olvera, just like the relations of lots of of different victims lately, calls for justice and desires to see these concerned held accountable.
“If the authorities don’t give me a positive reply, I’m going to return to the road to shut the avenue,” she mentioned. “I’m going to face there till they take note of me and do justice.”
AP photojournalist Eduardo Verdugo contributed to this report.