The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) have condemned the brutal murder of Mara Fernanda Castilla, whose body was found last Friday in a ravine in Santa María Xonacatepec, a small town near the state capital of Puebla.
The report expressed the agencies' deep indignation and pain regarding the femicide involving the 19-year-old girl who went missing on Sept. 8 only to be discovered dead a week later covered with a bed sheet near a motel.
A local media report stated that, on the morning of Sept. 8, Mara hailed a Cabify taxi service vehicle to head home after leaving a bar in Cholula.
And, although the vehicle arrived at the door of her home, the teen never exited the car.
According to Puebla's prosecutor office, the only driver assigned to the vehicle is a Ricardo N., who the officials believe – instead of leaving her at her house – drove her to a nearby motel where he raped, beat and strangled her.
UN Women and the OHCHR highlighted that the crime occurred in the context of widespread domestic and international concern over the disappearance of at least 824 women in Puebla. According to officials, the area is the only one in Mexico where there are more women than men who are victims of disappearance.
The state also ranks third in the number of women missing.
Based on these numbers, both UN Women and OHCHR push for non-stigmatizing gender-sensitive research.
The statement emphasized that the authorities should “carry out an investigation” with “due diligence” focusing on gender and femicide.
The releases were issued concurrently with the Puebla state government's cancellation of permits for ride-sharing app Cabify, which hails nearby taxi drivers in a manner similar to Uber.
Puebla Government Secretary-General Diodoro Carrasco Altamirano noted that the alleged killer, a Cabify driver identified as Ricardo N., had previously been sacked from Uber for alleged misconduct involving another rider.
“Fundamentally, the flaws in its security protocols have been exposed in very public way,” the official said, citing transportation laws granting authorities the right to cancel Cabify's operating permit.