National outrage grips Mexico after student who used ride-sharing service is killed by driver

Mara Fernanda Castilla Miranda. (Facebook)

Mara Fernanda Castilla, a 19-year old university student in Mexico City, was found dead in a ditch on Friday after she used Cabify, a local ride-sharing service, following a night out. Investigators claim the driver, who has since been arrested, passed by her apartment and instead took her to a hotel, where she was subsequently assaulted and strangled. News of her death sparked outrage among activists, who claim Mexican authorities are not doing nearly enough to combat the high numbers of femicide in the country. “There’s this outrage and an outcry because these murders are not being taken seriously by the government unless they go into the media. In every state we have these problems,” Maricruz Ocampo, an activist on women’s issues in the state Querétaro, told The Guardian. “The number that the [federal] government gives is that seven women are killed every day because people can get away with it. There is no other reason.”

Family members carry the coffin of Mara Fernanda Castilla during her funeral in Xalapa, Mexico September 17, 2017. Mara 19, was found dead near a motel after using ride-hailing service Cabify, in Puebla. (REUTERS/Oscar Martinez)

Ride-hailing services as Cabify or Uber have exploded in popularity in Mexico in recent years, in part because they are perceived as safer than public transit or traditional taxis. “You take Uber and Cabify because you think it’s safe, but it ends up you’re still exposing yourself to danger,” said Ana Olivares, a student who was protesting in Mexico City. “There’s no way to stay safe.”

Read the full story at The Guardian.


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