Mexico issues arrest warrant against the man who killed Jessica González in Michoacán

Jessica González Villaseñor was beaten to death after her disappearance on September 21

Mexico issues arrest warrant against the man who killed Jessica González in Michoacán
Women took the streets to demand justice for Jessica over the weekend - Photo: Charbel Lucio/EL UNIVERSAL
English 29/09/2020 14:56 Carlos Arrieta / Corresponsal Mexico City Actualizada 14:56

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Late on Sunday, Michoacán Attorney General Adrián López Solís announced state authorities issued an arrest warrant against Diego Melgoza, the man who allegedly murdered Jessica González Villaseñor.

The government official said the local Attorney General's Office found enough evidence to link Melgoza to the heinous crime. 
 
López Solís asked other states to aid the search for the alleged criminal. Moreover, the Michoacán government is working with the National Migration Institute to issue a migratory alert against Melgoza. 
 
Furthermore, the Interpol has been notified and asked to issue a red notice.

Recommended: Femicide: Protesters took the streets to demand justice for Jessica González Villaseñor
 
During the press conference, the Attorney General said he asked Governor Silvano Aureoles for additional financial resources to offer a reward in exchange for information that leads to the arrest of Diego Melgoza.

Jessica González Villaseñor was beaten to death after her disappearance on September 21. Her body was found in the woods on September 25. 
 
According to authorities, Jessica left her home on September 21 and told her family she would meet with a friend.
 
Governor Silvano Aureoles took to Twitter to condemn the heinous crime and sent his condolences to Jessica’s family.
 
A day later, activists took the streets to protest the murder of Jessica González Villaseñor. Hundreds of people walked through the streets of Morelia to demand justice for the young teacher.
 
The feminist group “Red Colectivas Feministas Michoacán” called on local to join the protest. During the protest, Jessica's family demanded the arrest of Diego Melgoza, who is at large.
 
Recommended: Femicide: Women are being brutally murdered in Mexico

Jessica's family also thanked the feminist activists and all the locals who attended the protest to demand an end to gender-based violence. One of the victim’s relatives said: “you have done more than authorities and if it's necessary, burn everything. Burn everything because Jessica is gone.”
 
Meanwhile, a feminist group said women in Michoacán are not grieving: “We are outraged and full of anger because some of us are gone. Jessica González Villaseñor is gone, today she joins the 156 women who have been murdered in the state this year.”
 
Michoacán has investigated six femicides between January and August. Moreover, Morelia is the sixth township with the most femicide cases in the country.
 
Femicide and gender-based violence have reached alarming levels in Mexico in the last two decades. Weeks ago, victims' families and feminist activists occupied the National Human Rights Commission in Mexico City to demand justice for femicide victims, gender-based violence victims, and victims of enforced disappearance.
 
In August, Mexico registered a series of disturbing femicides. According to Mexican authorities, the country registered 566 femicides between January and July 2020. In July alone, Mexico registered 101 femicides, the highest number ever registered.

Authorities offer $1 million reward

Late on Monday, the local Attorney General’s Office offered an MXN 1 million reward in exchange for information that leads to the arrest of Diego Urik Mañón Melgoza. 

Michoacán authorities released his picture, profile, and description. They added he has four tattoos that could be easily identified. 

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People who have information regarding his location can contact authorities at the following e-mail: [email protected] or by calling the following number 800-890-81-06.

Earlier that day, Governor Silvano Aureoles said he authorized the allocation of MXN 1 million for the reward. He emphasized his government won’t tolerate violence against women and impunity. 

What is femicide?

The term femicide refers to a specific hate crime that affects girls and women and has become widely used to describe a phenomenon that has prevailed in Mexico for decades.
 
Femicide is defined as “the gender-based murder of a woman or girl by a man” and was coined by Diana Russell in 1976, during the First International Tribunal on Crimes against Women in Brussels.
 
In Mexico, the term gained notoriety when it was translated as “feminicidio” by activist Marcela Lagarde. Her translation aimed to differentiate femicide, a hate crime, from the murder of a woman, which is not sparked by misogyny. Lagarde's translation also emphasizes the gender issue so that people would notice the sexist ideology behind femicide. The translation coined by Lagarde was essential to understand a wave of violence against women in Ciudad Juárez, which started around 1993.
 
In a broader context, femicide is just one type of violence against women. Moreover, femicide is accompanied by physical violence, sexual abuse, torture, mutilation, sexual slavery, sexual harassment, and other forms of extreme violence.
 
In Mexico, the majority of femicides were wrongly labeled as “crimes of passion,” which are defined as “a crime committed because of very strong emotional feelings, especially in connection with a sexual relationship.” But once the phenomenon of femicide was explained and the term was coined, activists, authorities, journalists, and society, in general, we're able to understand the gender-based implication behind the brutal killing of women. However, sexism still reigns in countries such as Mexico; for example, after 26-year-old Ingrid Escamilla was murdered by her partner in early 2020, a newspaper titled the article “It was cupid’s fault” and printed a photograph of her skinned and dismembered body on its cover. One of the two newspapers that published the graphic pictures issued a statement where it acknowledged the fact that it had revictimized Ingrid with its words and photographs but did not apologize to the victim's family.

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