Yakiri Rubio is a 20-year-old woman from Tepito, a notorious neighbourhood in Mexico City.
On the early evening of the 9th of December 2013, she left her grandfather’s shop, where she worked as a sales assistant, and went to meet her girlfriend Gabriela. The couple had arranged to meet outside a supermarket in the Colonia Doctores neighbourhood at 7 pm.
According to Yakiri, as she walked from the Doctores underground station towards the meeting point, two men on a motorbike offered her a ride. She refused, and they became aggressive. Yakiri continued walking, until one of the men threatened her with a knife and forced her on the bike.
Brothers Miguel Angel and Luis Omar Ramirez Anaya took her to a nearby Alcazar Hotel. The receptionist seemed to recognise the men and didn’t take any money for the room. Despite being clearly upset and struggling to free herself, the receptionist remained impassive to Yakiri’s situation. Once inside the room, both men ripped her clothes off, hit her and touched her. Miguel Angel pressed her against the wall and raped her, all the time threatening her with a knife. Luis Omar watched for a while and decided to leave the room to give them some “space”. Yakiri struggled with Miguel Angel and both of them fell on the bed. Miguel Angel weighed 91 kg and Yakiri 52 kg and is half his height.

Miguel hit her and cut her arms and abdomen with the blade, clearly his intention was to kill her. As he was about to stab Yakiri in the chest, she managed to turn the knife around, digging the knife deep into Miguel Angel’s neck. He stumbled out of the room bleeding, and made his way home, located only a few blocks away, and died shortly after.

Yakiri stumbled into the reception half-naked and covered in blood, asking for help. The receptionist told her they didn’t want any trouble in the hotel and asked Yakiri what she had done to a good man like Miguel. She left the hotel and finally got some help in an ice-cream shop. Yakiri was taken to the local police station. As her statement was being taken, Luis Omar stormed into the building and accused her of killing his brother.

She was left alone for 8 hours, was not allowed to call anyone, before being thrown in jail for “qualified murder”. Yakiri had to wait 10 days in jail before she could officially make a statement, before she was properly examined and given adequate treatment for her injuries. She then spent three months in prison. During this time, she was attacked twice by an inmate who claimed to be hired by Miguel Angel’s family to hurt her. After three months Yakiri’s charges were changed to “use of excessive force” and she was released on a 423, 000 peso bail (£20, 000 approx).

Police and Miguel’s family claim Yakiri was Miguel’s lover and that she killed him in a crime of passion. Miguel’s phone was found in her bag and apparently both of them had exchanged a number of intimate messages. The last one was sent shortly before 7 p.m., her meeting time with Gabriela. It is claimed the text was addressed to Miguel, not Gabriela, telling him she was arriving. Yakiri’s family maintain that both telephones were tampered with, along with most of the other evidence. The police claimed there was evidence of sexual intercourse, but not rape, and that Yakiri had inflicted the wounds on herself. After the case gathered notoriety and Yakiri was properly checked,  authorities admitted there were in fact signs of rape.

The deceased had a list of priors that include armed robbery with violence, and it is believed that he was a local drug seller. Yakiri told the press that she believes that Miguel and the local police officers were together in the drug selling business, meaning therefore that he was being protected. If the investigation into her attack continues, the police’s collusion with local drug sellers will be exposed, claimed Yakiri.

As implausible as some of these events sound, widespread police corruption and gender related violence are far too common in México.

Yakiri’s case brings to light an ugly truth that is faced by hundreds of women in the country.
The term feminicide means the killing of a woman by a man, because she is a woman. This type of crime in México became first publicized around 20 years ago with the killings in Ciudad Juárez. The bodies of women who had been tortured and raped began showing up regularly in the desert. Statistics are shady and vary between 350 in 20 years to 450 in one year. According to BBC World News there were 150 cases in 2009 and by August 2010 there were 170 cases.

However, these crimes are not exclusive to the border city, known by some as ‘Murder City’, due to the high rates of organised crime-related violence. The State of Mexico holds the highest rates of feminicides today. The state of Morelos recorded 13 from January to March 2014. Last year, 18-year-old Lucero from the state of Guanajuato, was beaten and almost killed for refusing to have sexual intercourse with Miguel Angel Jasso. She escaped and was taken to hospital where her attacker was also admitted after having crashed his car after the attempted rape. They were made to wait in the same room in the hospital whilst waiting treatment. During Lucero’s legal hearing the judge herself commented on the girl’s choice of clothing and accused her of provoking her attacker. Unfortunately these examples merely scratch the surface of the issue. It is believed that around 6.2 women a day are murdered in Mexico, with 50 percent of them thought to be feminicides.

In 2000 an initiative called Gender Alert was put in place by the country’s legislators. Its purpose was to pinpoint places within the country in which gender related violence is extreme. A complaint by any civilian or organisation can be made and the ‘accused’ state is put under investigation. Once the investigation has proven that the levels of violence are extreme, an alert is put in place. This creates immense pressure for the state to solve these cases and be seen to protect its female population. The Alert is lifted once there is solid proof that the crimes have dramatically diminished.

Not one state in México, including Chihuahua, with its internationally known feminicides, has agreed to put the alert in place.

A Gender Alert is a huge political blow to any state, giving governors, senators and parties a bad name. No political party wants to be linked with this devastating reality, therefore the chances of fighting against this growing epidemic are at the moment slim.

States like Chiapas, Guanajuato and The State of México have demanded an alert to be put in place by its citizens and NGOs dealing with gender related violence.The answer is in many cases to undermine feminicides by blaming the victim or organised crime, or simply by denying there is a problem at all.

Yakiri and Lucero are the girls that got away and had the courage and support to push for justice, but their story was only heard because they were lucky enough to survive.

Yakiry is at home awaiting trial. She receives regular death threats and doesn’t leave the house without her parents. Luis Omar is still a free man.


For more information about Yakiri go to:

Yakiri killed her rapist in self defence.

http://www.sinembargo.mx/26-11-2013/826140 Gender Alert

p://www.jornada.unam.mx/2009/11/25/estados/029n1est Gender alert Chihuahua

http://www.sinembargo.mx/14-08-2013/720385 Feminicides state of Morelos

http://www.animalpolitico.com/2014/03/mujeres-marchan-en-el-df-para-exigir-un-alto-feminicidios/#axzz2wyT6vErv March for Women and Peace

http://www.animalpolitico.com/2013/12/heridas-de-yakiri-demuestran-que-se-defendio-de-un-ataque/#axzz2wyT6vErv Yakiri’s defence wounds

http://www.cipamericas.org/archives/11708 Yakiri Gender Bias

http://observatoriofeminicidiomexico.org/ Feminicides Mexico


6.4 women killed a day.

https://reporterosenmovimiento.wordpress.com/2014/03/05/estado-de-mexico-primer-lugar-en-feminicidios/ Feminicides State of México

http://www.excelsior.com.mx/nacional/2013/09/17/918998 Gender Alert

http://www.milenio.com/policia/Urgen-declarar-Alerta-Genero-Mexico_0_231577408.html Yakiri was raped.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/mundo/america_latina/2010/08/100824_mexico_feminicidios_ciudad_juarez_mujeres_homicidios_amab.shtml feminicides Ciudad Juarez.

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