Castilla: her death has provoked widespread demonstrations. Castilla: her death has provoked widespread demonstrations.

Teen’s death provokes anger across Mexico

Puebla Cabify driver to be charged in killing of 19-year-old

A driver for the ride-hailing service Cabify will be charged with the murder of a 19-year-old woman who was found dead in Puebla last Friday, a crime that has provoked an outpouring of anger and led to street protests across Mexico yesterday.

ADVERTISEMENT

State Attorney General Victor Carrancá said the accused, identified as Ricardo Alexis, will face charges for the femicide, sexual assault and illegal deprivation of liberty of Mara Fernanda Castilla.

“We’re going to proceed with the full weight of the law and I’m sure that we’ll have a sentence very soon,” he said in an interview with Grupo Fórmula.

Castilla, a university student, requested a ride via the smartphone application just after 5:00am on Friday, September 8 to return to her home in the state capital from a bar in San Andrés Cholula. But she never arrived.

Family members reported her disappearance and authorities opened an investigation.

The driver made a voluntary statement that Castilla had asked to get out of his vehicle just before she reached her home. However, video evidence confirmed that the vehicle had in fact arrived outside Castilla’s address but she did not get out.

The newspaper Milenio reported that the driver saw that his passenger was asleep and drove off without leaving her at her destination.

ADVERTISEMENT

Over the following days, further inconsistencies were detected in the accused’s version of events including cell phone signals that indicated that he and Castilla had been in the same locations following her disappearance, including his home and a Puebla motel, where investigators say he sexually assaulted and strangled her.

Cameras recorded him entering a room at the motel where traces of blood were found and a bed sheet and towel were reported missing.

On September 12, he was arrested at his home in the neighboring state of Tlaxcala and taken into custody.

Carrancá said antenna signals that detected Castilla’s cell phone led authorities to a ravine in Santa María Xonacatepec, about 15 kilometers from downtown Puebla, where they found her body.

News of the teenager’s death sparked outrage across Mexico.

Protest marches were held in several cities yesterday including Mexico City, Guadalajara, Monterrey, Morelia, Saltillo, Puebla and Oaxaca. Thousands of people — mainly women but also men and children — took to the streets to express their indignation at gender-related violence and to demand justice for the perpetrators of all crimes against women.

Eighty-three women have already been murdered in the state of Puebla alone this year; state authorities have classified 56 as femicides.

The protests rallied around the demand “ni una más” (not one more) while there were also calls to put an end to blaming victims and for women to be able to reclaim public spaces no matter the time of day or night.

Cabify, a Spanish-owned company, has also come under fire amidst allegations it does not comprehensively screen its drivers.   In response, it announced four new measures to increase safety for customers.

They include taking steps to tighten the screening of drivers, allowing users to add emergency contact details to their profiles on the app and providing details to authorities of former drivers who have left the company because of an infringement of the law.

But, perhaps most significantly, it also said it would develop a panic button to be integrated into the app, linking it to local police.

Source: Milenio (sp), El Universal (sp), Excélsior (sp)

Stories from our archives that you might enjoy

  • Güerito

    This Cabify driver has a criminal record as a gas pipeline thief (huachicolero), and in May of this year he was fired by Uber in Puebla for not following security procedures. Despite this history, he was hired by Cabify.

    • Commander Barkfeather

      Perhaps, you know? In the US, an organization is responsible for the criminal actions of its employees. Is this not so in Mexico? If so, Cabify would be vulnerable to a huge lawsuit. What is the state of tort law in MX?

      • Güerito

        I was a lawyer in the US, but I know very little about Mexican law. I think the expansive tort regime found in common law countries is not found here in Mexico.

        There’s the question of agency law, whether the driver was an independent contrator or employee, etc.

        Also, technically Mara had a contractual relation with Cabify. Cabify is saying clients assume all risks, referring to fine print in a contract. That wouldn’t fly in the US, and I hope it wouldn’t fly in MX.

        • ben

          mexico is not fond of lawsuits. thats US culture. they should be sued, but they wrote in a clause.

      • ben

        the 3rd world cab comps in US do not vet their employees either. its a jungle out there. kumbaya!!! singalong.

  • ben

    this is an old story. girls drinking & staying out untill 4 or 5 am. what could go wrong? they get in trouble on the way home. she also was alone & did not share the cab with a friend. there was a disclosure which said @ your own risk. this company does not vet their employees. i wont even take an airport taxie after dark. no one should.

    • Barbara

      Ben, I hope you’re not implying that she’s partly responsible for what happened to her. If this was a guy would you be writing the same message? i hardly think so. So what if she went to a bar and left at 5 am? She called a cab and unfortunately was in the wrong place at the wrong time, got a cab driver who was a predator and murderer. I don’t know about you but this story saddens me and I can’t even imagine the fear that she must have had in the last minutes of her life. She is not to blame.

      • Art Garcia

        But Barbara it does not help if this girl is out at 4 or 5 am in the morning in the state of Puebla where 83 women have been murdered in the last year. Don’t know what country you live in but if you live in the US, the Mexican culture in how they see and treat women is the complete opposite.

        • Barbara

          Actually, Art, I live in Mexico and have for many years. Regardless where this woman lives, it’s important not to blame her for her demise. The population in the state of Puebla is about 6 million. Although 83 women is still 83 too many women to have been murdered, there’s still a very small portion of women who have not been murdered and a rather large portion of men who aren’t murderers. Should women, then, not go out for fear of violence? What do you think these women should do? What time would have been a better time for her to leave the bar? 2 am? 1 am? Remember this, a man who’s on the look out for a women to rape and murder, will find her regardless of the time of day or location. She got into what she thought was a safe cab. The only way women won’t get murdered is if they never leave their homes or if they are always with a group of people. That’s just not reasonable. And where are the real men, the heroes and warriors, who want to push back against the
          evil that seeks to prey on women, women who could be your mother, your sister, wife, or daughter. If you don’t
          step up, who will?
          In the absence of real men pushing back against evil, the culture
          continues its downward spiral and becomes increasingly shameless and
          vulgar.

          • Crewlaw

            Just think, if only one ‘real man’, bartender or bouncer, customer even, had walked the kid out to the car and given the driver a good look and a ‘con cuidado, eh?’ she might still be alive. The driver knows he and the car were taken note of by a witness, maybe he thinks twice about committing his crime.

          • ben

            no jail terms or even executions can stop this. why would a witness from a bar change things? these men have no control mechanisms.

          • Crewlaw

            There are people who commit very bad crimes who prefer not to get caught. There is at least the possibility that if the guy had in mind that he had been witnessed leaving with the girl, he would have hesitated to assault her, in my opinion.

          • ben

            he is a killer & a who is out of control & was arrested before. he doesnt seem to care about his job either. btw, uber was forced to close in london. too many assaults.

          • Crewlaw

            Well, your point seems to be “It’s hopeless! No precaution of any kind matters!” As the father of a 25-yr-old woman who has for years and still does travel frequently throughout central and southern Mexico, I disagree.

          • ben

            yes anything can help @ times. understand that based upon the story this is an out of control person. sometimes w/home breakins/invasions, they will hesitate if someone outside sees them, or they know someone is in the house. maybe try again. they have killed in this area, as they were afraid of being identified. back to taxies: uber lost their license in london. 39 rapes in on year & many assaults & beating up the customer for a disagreement. this didnt happen in the old days, but now its a demigraphical change. best to use the hotels car service if possible. youre free ofcause to make your own choices. good uck.

          • Garry Montgomery

            get real!

          • ben

            been proven, 100s of years of history. women should not be hangin around alone middle of night AND drink. she is partly responsible. what about the parents? dont they come into the picture? yes you should go out on groups. some taxie drivers in NYC locked the cab, & threatened me. these 3rd world meth addicted drivers are a result of the 1986 ammesty. one of them in NY threw my suitcase out of the cab. this is why car services became so popular. (untill they were sold then they changed hands). 2 cabs in guad took me to the same remote location vacant lot to extract money. this was in daylight. i managed to say yes you will get the 1000 pesos (for the 100 or 40 peso ride). they didnt get it! one of them picked me up in front of a mall. he chased me into the bus station & tried to get on the bus. in peru i had a private driver who worked for the guest house. thats reality, sit on it. oh forgot to mention the somolian who wouldnt give me change. the list goes on. gee, i think i will go out tonight @ 3am, maybe i can find a nice driver. thanks for the advice barb.

          • Garry Montgomery

            Nobody is blaming the victim, but if you sit on the railway track in the face of an oncoming train, are you a victim or just plain foolish?

        • ben

          who do you think most of the taxies drivers are in the US? 3rd world UNvetted men.

      • Garry Montgomery

        If you’re an antelope and wander into the lions’ den, what do you think will happen? Some actions beg for an unhappy result . . . eventually. Sure, it shouldn’t happen but it’s still a scuzzbucket male-dominated society.

        • Gabriel Heiser

          Yes, but how was she to know the driver was a “lion,” to extend your analogy? Are we to assume that all drivers are “lions” after dark? That’s where the screening is supposed to come in, to screen out said “lions.”

          • Garry Montgomery

            All antelopes should be aware that to be out drinking unaccompanied, in an area where lions are known to frequent and then, half drunk, senses not functioning, stumble unknowingly into the den must result in dire consequences. I regret what happened and my condolences are with her family, but the taxi driver was a non-repentant lion and the poor antelope just became part of the chase. It’s not an excuse, and it shouldn’t happen, but because it DOES all too frequently, young, attractive women should not put themselves in the face of danger.

        • Barbara

          How exactly did she walk into the lion’s den? Do you think she would have gotten into the cab had she known she was going to be raped and murdered? So what’s your real issue? She was in a bar? She left the bar at 5 am? Hypothetically speaking, if she was at a hospital sitting with a relative, called a cab at 5 am and was raped and murdered, would you say she walked into the lion’s den? Probably not. This ‘blaming the victim’ really needs to stop.

          • ben

            ofcause its a lions den! i wont even get into most cabs in NYC in the daytime. if a girl is walking around drunk alone in middle of night….well…….this may not attact the best crowd.

          • ben

            YES!! best to wait for normal working hours.

      • ben

        im a woman, & yes these girls will continue to do this nomatter how many of their friends get killed. this is popular in UK, germany sweden ect. thats reality you cant change it. people do what they do, logic does not apply. the cab comp has a clause. they cannot be sued. they hire felons. girls will continue to use them, that is for sure. cant fight city hall barbara.

    • Al Cantwell

      Oh, right, the “she was wearing sexy clothes, so of course she wanted to be raped! ” defense. Go crawl back under your rock.

      • Garry Montgomery

        Al, that’s a little unfair. Think about those lions and antelopes. People have to be more aware that their actions incite results. And in some areas (Puebla, Mexico City) more so than others.

        • Barbara

          Explain how her actions incited a result?

          • ben

            try it & get back to us. promice you that if you give it 3 tries you get the “result”. youre just an old lady who has no concept of the real world. a moron.

          • Garry Montgomery

            She was drinking in a bar in an area where dozens of her ilk have been murdered, then half drunk (or worse) gets into a cab and passes out . . need I say more?

          • Garry Montgomery

            So, I guess in the days of Jack the Ripper, women flocked to the area assuming the last victim was the last and the place was then safe?

          • Barbara

            I must have read a different article than you. Where exactly did it say she was half drunk and passed out in the cab? And you know what’s even sadder, Garry? That you don’t think she deserves any compassion because she didn’t behave in a respectable way.

          • Garry Montgomery

            True. There are other articles which give more information (if you read Spanish) but you obviously have not even read all my posts here. I expressed my condolences but regardless you seem to think that because you WANT to be able to go anywhere a man can go you should have the right. Darling it doesn’t work that way. Most men who hang around bars are predators! Think “Lion” ,and young girls who hang out where the predators are, are simply gazelles just waiting to be eaten.
            Life is not what you think it ought to be. Get real, girl!

      • ben

        this crawlrock name call means you lost the argument. get drunk, be alone @ 5 am i wonder if there may be trouble? noooo, cant beee…….lets just test those toxic straight males. you in?

      • Garry Montgomery

        come on, think with just a little logic if not common sense . . .

  • Garry Montgomery

    Well, it’s time to expand the lexicon. I’d never thought of the word “femicide”, but “homicide” does translate rather narrowly. I guess it’s been a holdover for hundreds of years, lumping murders of both sexes into one word. But I wonder, will we need to have “homocide”, “shemalecide” or any other additions to the “cide”? I think “murder” or “manslaughter” should have been enough, but I guess PC wins.

    • ben

      in the US this may be called a “hatecrime” – the lawyers spend time arguing that point in court. they make their money that way.

  • ben

    ok keep doin the slut walk. let me know how it works out for you. gee, who would eva think there are some bad hombres out there? nooooo, cant be…..when reality hits, get back to me mary.

FreeCurrencyRates.com
ADVERTISEMENT