Dec 18, 2010

Grieving mom’s slaying

reverberates in Mexico

MEXICO CITY A mother campaigning to bring the confessed killer of her 16-year-old daughter to justice was herself gunned down Thursday night in view of a closed-circuit camera, leaving images that shocked Mexicans over the impunity of the killers.

The killing of Marisela Escobedo unfolded on the sidewalk in front of the governor’s palace in the capital of Chihuahua state.

Escobedo was at a protest booth in the main plaza across the street demanding that the man who confessed to killing her daughter and dismembering her body in 2008 be hunted down.

A closed-circuit camera captured the 20 seconds or so at 8:10 p.m. when a man got out of a white Volkswagen Jetta and approached Escobedo in the square. Frightened by him, Escobedo ran across the street, dodging busy traffic, the assailant only footsteps behind her. He shot her with a 9mm pistol in the head at the entrance to the governor’s palace.

The video shows the killer running back across the street and getting in the waiting car, which pulled away.

The brazen hit of a grieving mother – in the capital of a state renowned for hundreds of murders of women and girls – sparked condemnation from within Mexico and from abroad.

“The death of Marisela adds to the long list of women murdered in Chihuahua,” Norma Ledezma, head of Justice for Our Daughters, said through sobs in a telephone interview.

United Nations human rights delegate for Mexico Javier Hernandez Valencia issued a statement describing the killing as “devastating and causing indignation,” and exhorted Mexico to take action to halt “overwhelming violence that looms over women.”

Amnesty International, called Escobedo a “tireless fighter for justice for her daughter, Rubi Marisol Frayre” and said the mother had become emblematic of women fruitlessly seeking justice for murders in Chihuahua state.


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