The body of a seven-year-old girl found dead in the southern outskirts of Mexico City has been identified as a grade school student "Fatima" who had been missing since February 11, police said.
While Mexican law prohibits giving out the full name of such victims, authorities on Monday confirmed the girl was abducted. Police found her body wrapped in a bag and abandoned in a rural area on Saturday. She was identified through genetic testing but the cause of death has not been released. Investigators found footage of her kidnapping in which she is seen walking with a woman. Five suspects have also been questioned.
The girl's mother, Maria Magdalena Anton, came to pick her up about 15 minutes after she was escorted away from the school by the suspected kidnapper last week. While the mother was told that an official search could only take place after 72 hours, the prosecutor's office said an amber alert about the girl's disappearance was issued on the same day she was reported missing.
"Justice has to be done, for my daughter and for all women," Anton said outside the prosecutor's office. The girl's family has also accused the police of not acting quickly and making them wait for hours before filing a missing person's report.
"She could have been found alive, but nobody paid attention to us," Sonia López, the girl's aunt, was quoted as saying by the Associated Press.
Mexico City prosecutor Ernestina Godoy said, "The girl's murder would not go unpunished." Prosecutors' spokesman Ulises Lara has offered a $100,000 reward for information on the woman who was last seen picking up the girl from the school.
Mexico protests as violence against women rise
The girl's murder has added fuel to the ongoing protests against femicides in Mexico after a 25-year-old girl was killed and her body mutilated by her boyfriend last week. The suspect confessed to killing Ingrid Escamilla with a knife and mutilating her body. He also said parts of her corpse were flushed into the sewer.
Demonstrations in Mexico began after leaked pictures of Ingrid's skinned body were published by local media after being leaked from the police.
The rising violence against women in Mexico has been a growing concern for many Mexicans. According to reports, 1,006 cases of femicides took place in 2019. The number is said to be a surge as 2018 had 912 reported cases and others claiming the real numbers higher. Mexico's Attorney General Alejandro Gertz said femicides have increased 137% in the last five years.