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Missing women: Mexican female teenagers are most likely to disappear

Missing women: Mexican female teenagers are most likely to disappear
English 07/03/2020 15:33 Alexis Ortiz Mexico City Actualizada 15:50
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Young women between 15 and 19 years old are the ones who are most frequently reported missing. Federal authorities have registered 15,835 missing people of which 4,433 belonged to that age range. The disappearance of women has become worse since 2008 and reached its top peak in 2017.

Experts and groups of victims said that human trafficking, the fight against organized crime, and the lack of prevention of this crime are some of the factors that put young women at risk.

Although women from those ages are the most affected, this does not mean that the crime does not affect the rest of the female population. The report from Mexico’s Interior Ministry reveals that women over 80 and under 4 are also disappeared.

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Another evidence of the damage suffered by the women between 15 and 19 years of age is the number of people who were considered missing and then were found: statistics show that 20,110 of them have been in this situation.

The report on clandestine graves and the national registry of missing people of the Interior Ministry (Segob) also clarifies that although the register of untraceable Mexicans contemplates the 1960s, 97% of the cases took place since 2006.

The insecurity suffered by women has been in the spotlight during recent months because protests by the female population look to guarantee their rights.

Likewise, there have been femicides and disappearances that changed the course of 2019, the year in which the federal government announced several measures to contain the violation of women’s rights. The strategy includes the participation of the National Women’s Institute (Inmujeres) and the Public Service Ministry (SFP).

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The data presented by Segob shows how the events affected other female groups: for instance, women between 20 and 24 years old are part of the second most affected age range (1,945 cases), followed by girls of between 10 and 14 years old (1,850), women of between 25 and 29 years old (1,699), women between 30 and 34 years old (1,227), women between 35 and 39 years old (940), and women between 40 and 44 years old (670).

Likewise, Segob reported the states where the 15,835 disappearances of women took place in the last 60 years: State of Mexico (3,216), Tamaulipas (2,245), Puebla (1,445), Jalisco (1,188), Nuevo León (1,065), Coahuila (746), Sonora (642), Veracruz (572), and Chihuahua (548).

Human trafficking and the government’s lack of action, the cause
Without a precise breakdown, Segob also revealed that the disappearances of women have worsened since 2008. The moment with the highest peak of cases was 2017 and then there was a downward trend.

It added that, in general, 97% of the registries of both men and women, in the last 60 years, have taken place since 2006, the moment in which the so-called war on drugs began.

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Martín Villalobos, a relative of a 21-year-old missing woman and coordinator of the Links Network for Human Rights expressed that the feud against criminal groups stimulated the disappearance of young women, who could be in hands of human trafficking groups.

“This issue is worse in women between 19 and 22 years old and it has to do with the increase of insecurity since 2006. According to the cases we know of, we calculate that nearly 90% of the missing women do not return home,” he said.

He asserted that disappearances are also related to the pact between the government and the criminals, in addition to key time to find the victims being lost by the public ministries.

Although there are many tools that didn’t exist before, we see how the authorities of all levels collude with criminal groups and that hinders the search. There is also the problem of mechanisms not being activated immediately for 72 hours have to go by for authorities to begin searching,” he said.

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Unstoppable situation
The data presented by Segob showed that in the first year of the López Obrador administration, 5,184 people disappeared of which 1,277 were women.

In this regard, Grace Fernández, member of the group Searching for the Missing Mexico reiterated that the disappearance of women between 15 and 19 years old is due to the national and international business of human trafficking for sexual exploitation.

Nevertheless, she added that other factors that influence this crime are gender violence, as well as the culture of authorities of not immediately beginning the search thinking that victims could return by themselves.

“The perspective taken by authorities regarding the disappearance of minors worsens the problem. If they are asked, they could say they derive from family or cultural problems because ‘young women go out nowadays’.

“This causes the first hours after the crime to be lost, although they are essential.” added the activist.

Therefore, she made a call for women to be interested in what is going on and to act jointly: “Although it is the responsibility of the State, women must protect each other; we cannot wait for something to happen to take action. This will be achieved if they know what happens and why, in addition to joining the fight of those who have already suffered this so that it does not happen to them.”

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