Danna Reyes, 16, was murdered with extreme violence and her body thrown and burned in a vacant lot in Mexicali, in Baja California, but even so the justice authorities consider that her death was not a femicide.
The three arrested for the crime, which occurred on August 22, were accused by the State Attorney’s Office for the crime of qualified homicide by advantage. The dependence has not publicly reported why they were not charged with femicide.
According to a consulted criminal lawyer, whose name he asked to keep anonymous, when it comes to cases of femicide, the Prosecutor’s Office usually asks for 35 to 60 years in prison for those responsible, while in the case of qualified homicides the penalties range from 30 to 60 years, in some cases with reduced sentences.
He Baja California Penal Code establishes as two of the causes of femicide that the victims have had “infamous, degrading injuries or mutilations before or after the deprivation of life”; and that the body was “exposed or thrown in a public place.” Facts that in Danna’s case are fully identified.
According to a video provided by a witness to the events, on Saturday August 22, Danna’s lifeless body was thrown by a man into a vacant lot in the La Condesa subdivision.
A few minutes later, three people arrived, including a woman, who got out of a blue Hyundai Sonata vehicle, setting fire to Danna’s body and then leaving the place.
The police version, for its part, narrates the moment in which the policemen of the Municipal Public Security Directorate (DSPM) of Mexicali notice a small fire in a vacant lot, so when they approach the place they identify a body among the flames . Danna’s.
The police requested the presence of the firefighters to extinguish the flames, in that waiting, a witness affirmed that through a surveillance video of the security cameras he realized that the body had been thrown over the perimeter fence.
With the data provided by the witness and the video images, a surveillance operation was carried out in the area, managing to locate a vehicle with the same characteristics as those allegedly responsible for the crime.
The suspects were identified as 25-year-old José “N”, 18-year-old Kevin Jesús “N” and 23-year-old Teresa Michelle “N”; The insured vehicle was a 2011 Model Hyundai Sonata, with license plates 7CSY743.
The initial hearing where the three suspects of Danna’s crime were present was held on Tuesday, August 25, at 12:30 pm, the Criminal Justice Center of Mexicali. Judge Rocío Margarita Arce López decreed the arrest of the suspects as legal, despite the fact that the defense indicated that the characteristics of the vehicle reported by a witness did not coincide with the one the now accused were traveling.
Likewise, the defense attorney stated that since the police patrol noticed the fire in which the 16-year-old girl was burned, at the time her clients were arrested, more than an hour had elapsed so that he could not verify the flagrant facts.
Despite the arguments presented by the defense, the judge decreed as legal the detention of the suspects in Danna’s crime.
Traces of violence
The head of the Forensic Medical Service (Semedo) in Baja California, César Raúl González Vaca, reported that Danna, who was identified by family members, had multiple injuries throughout her body such as contusions and wounds produced by a cutting mechanism in the neck and chest .
“The determining cause of death is penetrating puncture wounds of the neck and head trauma.”
In addition, the official said that Danna had burns on 45% of her body, all after death.
After the femicide of Danna became known, the State Attorney General, Guillermo Titi Ruiz, stigmatized the 16-year-old, saying that she had “tattoos all over the place.”
In light of these statements, the Baja California State Human Rights Commission (CEDHBC) called on prosecutor Ruiz to “not re-victimize or stigmatize” victims of crimes such as femicide and other types of violence against women.
The #CEDHBC called on the State Attorney General’s Office (FGE) not to revictimize or stigmatize victims of crimes such as femicide and other types of violence against women.
– CEDH BAJA CALIFORNIA (@CEDHBC) August 26, 2020
The Baja California ombudsperson, Miguel Ángel Mora Marrufo, said that the role of the authorities regarding violence against women should be focused on prevention, investigation, security and justice actions, and not to emit this type of comments that have to do with someone’s appearance or clothing.
In this sense, he reiterated the importance of advancing in the attention of the structural causes that originate violence, for which it is necessary to eliminate prejudice and any type of discrimination.
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