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A missing Mexican teenager is found dead, fueling outrage over gender-based violence in a state where 26 women have disappeared this year

The body of a Mexican teenager who disappeared this month was found submerged in a tank on the motel grounds near where she was last seen alive.

Key points:

  • Eighteen-year-old law student Debanhi Escobar was discovered in Nuevo Leon and disappeared 9.
  • This year alone, 26 women and girls have disappeared in the northern state
  • Her father says Debanhi is dead because of “incompetent authorities and sexual harassers.”

Authorities said Debanhi Escobar, 18, was discovered in the northern state of Nuevo Leon after she disappeared on April 9.

The tragic news of a law student came amid a flood of women’s disappearances in the capital, Nuevo Leon Monterrey, which sparked protests and intensified international control of gender-based violence in Mexico.

This year, 26 women and girls have disappeared in Nuevo Leon and five others have been found dead after they were reported missing.

“The body found is Debanhi’s and the cause of death is a deep contusion of the skull,” Attorney General Gustavo Guerrero said in a live video on Facebook, adding that all lines of investigation were open.

Protesters demanded that Security Minister Nuevo Leon resign after women died in the state. 04.30 Reuters: Daniel Becerril

Mr Guerrero’s comment came when hundreds of women blocked a highway in downtown Monterrey, halting traffic and calling for an end to gender-based violence.

The protesters demanded the resignation of Secretary of State Aldo Fasci and carried signs with the names and faces of Debanhi and other local women who had disappeared or had recently been found dead.

“I’m here for all the daughters of Nuevo Leon because we want a state that is safe and free for them,” said Adriana Flores, 45.

Debanhi was last seen alive standing next to the highway in a photo taken by the driver who took her home after the party.

Debanhi Escobar’s body was found in a cistern on the motel grounds. 04.30 Reuters: Daniel Becerril

Her father, Mario Escobar, accused the driver on Friday of trying to touch her daughter’s breasts, citing a video footage that suggests that was what led her to get out of the car.

It is not clear what happened after she left the vehicle.

In an interview with local media, Escobar accused the authorities of mismanagement.

“My daughter is dead because of incompetence [authorities]and because of sexual harassers, “he said.

The Attorney General’s Office said that during the investigation of the case, it would be determined whether any mistakes had been made in the search for Debanhi, whether voluntary or involuntary.

Governor Samuel Garcia said this week that the local government had mobilized additional resources to search for Debanhi and other missing women.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador expressed his condolences to the family.

He said the death of the teenager could be investigated by the Federal Attorney General’s Office at the request of the family so that there was “no doubt” about the case.

Reuters / ABC