July 24, 2017
Law Atenco, Recommendation of IACHR: EAV
July 25, 2017


“The dismemberment is a rare feminicide, the common thing here is that women die beaten in their own bedrooms or rooms, are shot or disappear after being kidnapped and reappear in some channel or place”



The cable car flies gracefully and lightly over La Cañada. The masterpiece of the six year period inaugurated by the president Enrique Peña in September 2016 and now promoted in a commercial by Alfredo Del Mazo with perfect smile and skin as part of a promising future: “when I win, I will enlarge it till Tlalnepantla”; while, below, between the streets without paving, the bunch of houses piled up over the hill, the chaotic traffic of the highway Mexico-Pachuca and the fetid rivers which drain corpses, the other crude reality floats: Eruviel’s dead women.

Precisely on the day that was the candidate’s turn to make a broadcasting on Facebook to show off about the aerial modern system for poor people, an army’s truck and four police patrols were monitoring the smelly channel of the Cartagena Avenue, where an hour before, some dogs were tearing apart remains of rotten human flesh, abandoned next to the canal blocked with trash. The long haired head, next to the torso’s breasts, packaged in different bags, gave to the investigators the gender of the quartered.

The place is cordoned off with the typical yellow tapes that warn the neighbors with the phrase “do not cross”, while the experts work fast and a ten of soldiers and around ten police officers are flanking the spot and banning the access to sensationalist reporters. There are no signs of the arms and a leg, maybe in some other place the assassin (or assassins) threw them away to mislead the authorities.

“It is a not often femicide, the common fact is that here the women die by being beaten up in their own rooms or living rooms; being shot or disappear after being kidnapped and reappear in a channel or spot”, says Gabriel Salazar, founder of the digital newspaper @afondoedomex.com, which since two years ago started to write down its own count of the cases, when the team realized that not all of the feminicides in the area were count in the official statistics.

The lack of congruence among the official and emergent summations explain this numbers issue. While the organization “Mujeres en Cadena” reported 258 feminicides for 2016, the state’s General Attorney of Justice closed that year with 275 murders, out of those, only 65 are recognized as femicides and the rest as “intentional homicides”. Gabriel, on his own and with the support of a net of reliable contacts and reporters distributed in strategic areas, counted 370 feminicides in the whole zone last year.

In the Eruviel’s era, there were 1,658 official cases summing up to last December, from which only 306 were listed as femicides and the rest as “intentional murders”. The NGOs were already counting 72 new cases by the middle of April this year, 14 of those in Ecatepec, where in 2016 there were counted 44 more cases.

The above means that in the land of the current governor, 58 women were murdered in one year and four months.

It is necessary to point out that a resolution of the Supreme Court on March 15th of 2016, forces to the state’s government to investigate all the violent murders of women with “gendered view” and with no discrimination at all, this means, as femicides, starting from that point that in every single case we can refer to them as such.

Eruviel’s shape looks slim and luscious, even more when he rises up in front of the feminine select public to receive triumphant their clapping before his determination of looking after the women in the state, to whom he ensures: “I won’t allow anyone to touch you even with the petal of a rose!”

It’s 26th of June, 2016. The Supreme Court has just ordered his government to reopen the emblematic case of Mariana Lima, that young mother beaten up till she died by her own husband, a judicial police officer who after the murder, with the help of “experts” they made the murder look like a “suicide”.

It doesn’t matter. Eruviel saw the chance to promote himself and swear that there will be justice, while with that gesture of magnanimity that the press already knows, Eruviel puts his hand in the middle of his chest, makes a bow and throws a seductive smile, as someone who aims to govern the whole country.

Cut till 2017. The four friends of Guadalupe collapsed so brutally against the floor that due to the impact, their heads exploded. The threads of blood got dispersed rapidly among the tables, chairs and feet of the guests, who through the screaming of scare were sliding off over that aqueous floor and they were also running and trying to reach the exit or calling the emergency numbers without any success.

That night on April 19th, the “La Terraza” pub, placed on the 4th Avenue and López Mateos in Nezahualcóyotl, became the crime scene of four girls aged between 17 and 25 years old who only went out to have fun, through the party they thought it would be easy to ask for a selfie to a group of young boys, they denied the favor and got upset because of the audacity, so they simply decided to punish them with a direct “shot of grace”. Four shots scintillate in the bar and one by one fell down. In a matter of seconds, the murderers got vanished.

The body of Alejandrina was confined in the floor by her husband Guillermo Guzmán, a 25 years old bricklayer. It wasn’t really difficult to find her, since he did it at the level of the floor and her corpse’s remains looked like an extended damaged sculpture as a little mound on the ground; this was considered the femicide 186 in 2015. The autopsy revealed that before being immured directly with cement, she was stabbed in the heart, stomach and lungs.

In the femicide number 35 of that same year, nobody claimed the victim’s body, but the case is remembered as one of the most sadistic. The girl in the black hoodie who was found thrown upside down in the lands of Ejido Santa Cruz, in the municipality of Teotihuacán. She had her face and scalp skinned, the assassins also cut her fingertips in an attempt of completely “erasing” her. She was between 25 and 30 years old –the average age of the victims of femicides in the entity-. Nobody knows more about her.

In the same area known also as Atlaltenango, a solitary hill and bordered by dumps and unfinished constructions, the bodies of three young girls were dumped there on last March 17th, with clear signs of torture. One of them was approximately 20 years old and the other two were around 25 and 30 years old. The triple homicide hasn’t been cleared yet and the neighbors are afraid that the place is becoming in a huge clandestine cemetery, as the State of Mexico already is in fact.

The femicide number 72 this year is recent. A beautiful young girl wearing high heels and a black and pink dress, appeared the night of last April 9th in a wasteland in the neighborhood called La Laguna Chiconautla in Ecatepec. Two little kids who made the find got surprised with the scene because they thought she was sleeping when she was actually dead.

The victims’ count is a never ending story. The stories get misplaced behind the numbers and the details get confused since they are so similar.

According to official numbers, in 16 years, from 2000 to 2016, 2,761 women have been murdered in the state that today is in dispute between prominent politicians and allies of the Atlacomulco Group, with candidates that arose from emergent movements and old political parties. The numbers include the 922 dead women from Enrique Peña’s government and the 1,658 counted till December of 2016, from Eruviel Ávila’s administration.

“They must know that in the State of Mexico, women aren’t touched even with the petal of a rose” repeats the governor in another set while the phrase still rumbles through the walls of the Palace of Government, where the files of the dead women of his administration overflow.

The graffiti of a woman backwards and leaned to the front, with the skirt of her yellow dress floating up, exposing her private parts to the bystanders, welcomes the people to Ciudad Cuauhtécmoc, the mini-capital of the state femicides, where the lives of women are just worthless.

Out of the 44 femicides and intentional homicides of women that were registered in 2016 in that municipality, at least 10 occurred in this populous zone, controlled by hitmen and criminal groups that at the rhythm of the chaotic circuit, are taking money out of merchants, bus drivers, and lives of those who don’t want to pay for the “right for a spot”.

The unusual image of the girl in the yellow dress in the corner of Privada de Xicotencatl and Circuito Cuauhtémoc, a few steps away from the Conalep 1 (a college of technical education), sets the entrance to one of the most violent urban zones in the whole country, cataloged as the worst city to live in according to a recent study made by the Strategic Communication’s Cabinet.

Ecatepec is, also, the most inhabited municipality of Mexico which has 1.6 million habitants and the biggest census, 1´202,259 potential voters. According to the Coneval, in 2012, 40.8% of the population there was in poor living conditions and 107,000 more in conditions of extreme poverty.

Its homicide’s rate in every 100,000 inhabitants reaches the 35.9%, almost three times more than the national average which is 13.07% and it is, according to the Femicide’s Observatory and the INEGI, the municipality where the highest number of violent murders of women in the whole country is registered and it is also, the homeland of the state’s governor Eruviel Ávila.

That is why here, in the epicenter of the state violence, it isn’t possible to walk more than 300 meters when the parade of closed curtains start, one after another in the middle of the day. The steel curtains appear closed with night graffiti that get sticked as a seal of the lives marked there by the so called “renteros”, the new groups of organized crime which dispute the control of the area by killing anyone who gets across their way.

Pharmacies, stores, bakeries, shoe shops, and even stands of candies or scrap metal, stopped working due to, simply, their owners died executed as a result of the strategy of terror set by the “renteros”, or they ran away when it became impossible to pay the forced fees which used to go from 15 to 20 thousand pesos per month.

In the highest part of the circuit, there where the church and a module of security are, in the Poetas Avenue, the huge graffiti of a skull printed on the floor of the oriel literally crowns this city of crime. Turning the corner, right there at the middle of the block, a kind housewife died when she opened the door and she got shot right in the face.

The assassin arrived and asked about “Jose”, she assented as her full name was Josefina, and as an answer she got a shot in the forehead, then the hitwoman escaped with her accomplice riding a motorcycle.

Down there, the neighbors tell the case of another Medicine Doctor shot in her pharmacy because she refused to pay the right of spot. Alfredo, a punk boy who alongside his best friend Adriana talk outside of a modest place, ensure that the femicides come in waves but men also are afraid for their lives, since nobody is safe there.

“The highest risk we face is to be assaulted and during that, get killed”, he says. “We are in front of a monumental tragedy liable to political wills”, ensures Xochitl Arzola, the activist of “Mujeres en Cadena”, who has been in charge of taking the recount of the “state dead women” and go along with, as much as possible, the survivors of each feminicide registered in the area, victimized again or stigmatized, again and again, by authorities and neighbors “because here, even dying violently is frowned upon.”

14 out of the 72 feminicides reported this year until April 17th, occurred in Ecatepec, 7 in Nezahualcóyotl and 5 in Naucalpan.

That kid named Eruviel Ávila, who was born and raised in Ecatepec, who used to dream about becoming governor and 40 years later achieved his goal by imposing himself with political threats to the hegemonic Atlacomulco Group, what he might never have dreamed about, was the fact that he would break all the records of femicide impunity, since that during his predecessor’s administration (Enrique Peña) used to have an average of 12.8 women killed per month, Ávila’s getting 16.4 femicides per month.

That’s why, while Del Mazo is taking a selfie from above in the cable car, the realities of the feminicide phenomenon fall down as lead, 90% of the impunity in every single case; 58.13% of the victims in Ecatepec were found on the streets; 23.64% in their addresses; 5.03% in cars and 10.46% in another places, such as stores or dump rivers or water tanks. In 2015, 40 corpses were found in the Remedios river, half of them, at least, were women’s.

Therefore, almost right after that the Gender Alert was set in 11 municipalities, the results of the alert are null, even adverse, since the feminicides have raised in a 10% in some of those 11 towns, such as Ecatepec and Chimalhuacán, while in others the decrement is marginal but from non-reliable statistics.

The alert is an absolute failure, says Ana Yuritzi Leyva, General Secretary of the PRD but one of the most ferreous activist of the initiative so that the alert is set in the whole territory, since it hasn’t shown results, “it has allowed to place the topic in the national agenda and made it visible.”

Other specialists in the topic make a tight balance: in any side “the municipal groups or mixed specialized in public security are working”, not even the “immediate reaction” cells; the police protocols to act and react in matter of “gender violence or missing people” are not applied neither other tens of measures, say and agree Xochitl Arzola and the journalist Gabriel Salazar.

Neither “are all of the cases investigated thoroughly” as the alert demands, but the few ones that are solved, is due to the direct investigation of the relatives, obliged to become in a kind of improvised “Sherlock Holmes”, as it happened with the relatives of Marisela Calixto -murdered in Coacalco- to whom the Public Ministry itself told: “if you want, investigate on your own”, so they did.

Down there, while the cable car floats over Eruviel’s city of crime, just before it lands in the Hank González station, the monumental faces of a mother and her daughter painted over the walls of a multifamily building, look with suffering eyes at a Del Mazo who passes by flying in fractions of second over La Cañada, while he is recording the electoral spot of the day. He is accompanied by two women to whom he is showing off the cable car, but he doesn’t speak about their dead congeners, the worst problem, no doubt about it, in the area.

Two stations up between Cerro Gordo and the Esperanza neighborhood, the luminous afternoon falls over a lonely cemetery of pink crosses that get merged with the Ecatepec’s slums.
Chronicle written for El Heraldo de México.


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