By Sierra Juarez
QUERETARO, Mexico (AA) – Protests swept throughout Mexico over the weekend as women took to the streets to denounce the gruesome killing of a young woman.
Ingrid Escamilla, 25, was found dead earlier last week. Her partner allegedly killed her, skinned her, and removed some of her organs. Several local media outlets published the pictures of her body, prompting feminist outrage.
On Friday, Valentine’s Day, women in Mexico City began marching in protest of the publication of the images and femicide, or the killing of a woman based on her gender.
The feminists began vandalizing and spray painting historical buildings with phrases such as “Ni Una Más,” which means “Not One More.” The phrase means that “not one more” woman should fall victim to the rampant killing and abuse of women in the country.
-Social media protests
While feminists were in the streets, an even larger protest emerged on social media, gaining international attention. Women, upset that media outlets published sensitive photographs of Escamilla, decided to share beautiful photos in tribute to her.
The hashtag “#IngridEscamilla” trended in Mexico. With the viral hashtag, people shared images of beaches, landscapes, and flowers. The social media users said they hoped it would overpower the images of her body that the media shared.
Another social media trend surfaced, as people became angry with feminists in Mexico City for painting statues and historical buildings.
The hashtag “#EllasNoMeRepresentan, or “They Don’t Represent Me,” began trending as people critiqued the protest methods. But feminists said that more passive protests haven’t prompted a change. It’s time, they say, to try a more aggressive method.
“They say #EllasNoMeRepresentan; I respond that the day something happens to you, sister, we will go out and burn the world,” Mexican feminist Adriana Cristina wrote on Twitter.
And at the protests, feminists responded to the online criticisms with a chant that translates to, “I’ll clean your walls when you give me back my sisters.”
“Ingrid, escucha tu familia está en la lucha: Ingrid, listen, your family is in the fight.”
The protests spread from Mexico City and continued throughout the weekend, including on Saturday, Mexican Women’s Day. There were protests in several states, including Queretaro, Guanajuato, and Monterrey.
In Queretaro, one of the major metropolitan cities in central Mexico, about 100 women marched to the governor’s palace. Outside of it, the women lit candles for Escamilla and chanted while holding signs.
Hand-painted pictures of Escamilla smiling were on some of the posters along with phrases, like “In this femicide country, to be alive is rebellious.” They also created chants with Escamilla’s name, such as “Ingrid, escucha tu familia está en la lucha,” or “Ingrid, listen, your family is in the fight.”
-The other “sisters”
The mayor of Mexico City Claudia Sheinbaum released a comment when news of Escamilla’s death began to spread.
“Femicide is an absolutely reprehensible crime. When hate reaches limits, like in the case of Ingrid Escamilla, it’s outrageous,” she wrote on Twitter. “It is our commitment to work every day to eradicate violence against women.”
But the federal government has largely remained quiet on the recent death of Escamilla.
The Mexican president has proposed punishing news outlets that shared images of her body, but institutions, like the public security office, didn’t release a new comment. They reiterated tired ones.
Femicide has plagued the country for decades. Mexico is one of the deadliest countries in the world for women.
About 10 women are killed every day, according to official estimates from the Mexican government. And as of right now, officials are investigating an estimated 700 femicide cases.
Despite the government’s age-old vow to mitigate the violence, it still persists–and worsens.