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Tuesday, December 06, 2022

Mexico will do 3rd autopsy in controversial case of dead girl

MEXICO CITY ( Associated Press) — The Mexican government announced Thursday a third autopsy on the corpse of a young woman whose body was found in a motel water tank due to differences between the official autopsy, which suggested the possibility of a accident, and a family-ordered one that concluded she was sexually assaulted and murdered.

Ricardo Mejía, undersecretary of federal Public Security, indicated during the morning presidential conference that a special commission had decided the day before to make a “third opinion” to unify criteria and clarify the death of the girl.

Debanhi Escobar was last seen alive in the early hours of April 9 when a taxi driver left her on a highway near the city of Monterrey. The photo of her, stranded in the middle of the night, went viral.

The discovery of her body in the underground cistern of a nearby hotel two weeks later and the irregularities in the search and investigation denounced by the family caused the case -one of the many disappearances and femicides in Mexico- to attract great attention and determine the intervention of the federal government.

The autopsy of the authorities of the state of Nuevo León, where Monterrey is located, did not mention any sexual assault, said that the cause of death had been a blow to the head and left open the possibility of an accident by indicating that the young woman had standing inside the tank that opened in the ground and that he had no water in his lungs.

Mejía confirmed that the second autopsy -requested by the family from independent experts- does speak of a sexual assault and added that it indicates another cause of death that he did not detail. However, the young woman’s father, Mario Escobar, assured that his daughter had been murdered.

Since before the discrepancy between the autopsies was known, the Nuevo León prosecutor’s office separated two officials from what is being investigated for errors and omissions.

The new autopsy will be performed in Mexico City.

Irregularities in cases of femicide have been common for a long time in Mexico and, as occurs in other types of murders, impunity is very high and only the insistence of families has managed, on some occasions, to reach the truth.

Cases reported as femicides – gender-based murders – have risen from 977 in 2020 to 1,015 in 2021, according to federal government data, although the overall number of female homicides is much higher.

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