Family buries Mexican teenager who has revived anger over gender violence By Reuters

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© Reuters. Relatives and friends attend the funeral of Debanhi Escobar, an 18-year-old law student who disappeared on April 9 am of a wave of women disappearances in Nuevo Leon’s capital Monterrey in Galeana, Mexico, April 23, 2022. REUTERS / Daniel Becerr

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By Laura Gottesdiener

GALEANA, Mexico (Reuters) – Standing on top of a windswept hill in northern Mexico, surrounded by dozens of other mourners, Mario Escobar is preparing to bury his teenage daughter, Debanhi, one of the latest victims of the country’s crisis of violence against women .

“We’re devastated inside,” he said. “We had so much faith that we would find her alive, but that’s not what happened.”

The nearly two-week-long search for the 18-year-old law student, who disappeared on April 9 near the northern industrial city of Monterrey, has sparked new anguish and outrage over gender-based violence.

In Mexico, an average of 10 women are killed a day, and tens of thousands more are missing. [L2N2WK2N3]

More than a hundred family members, friends and neighbors attended the funeral in Galeana, Nuevo Leon, the hometown of Debanhi’s mother, where the family often spent weekends and holidays.

The mourners sang hymns as they walked under the hot sun, carrying white balloons and handwritten signs demanding justice for Debanhi.

The teenager’s body was found on Thursday night submerged in a cistern inside a motel area close to where she was last seen alive.

The state’s attorney said Friday that the cause of death was a contusion in the skull and that all lines of investigation were open. At the funeral, Mario Escobar said his daughter’s body had been “beaten and strangled”.

Her death came amid a wave of women disappearances in the state of Nuevo Leon. Since the beginning of this year, at least 26 women and girls have disappeared, and six more – including Debanhi – have been found dead after being reported missing.

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