Mexico: Fears for safety of teenage girl missing in Ciudad Juarez

Fears are mounting for the safety of a 15-year-old girl who went missing in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico on 18 January.

Adriana Sarmiento Enriquez was last seen in the afternoon of 18 January by her friends as she went to catch a bus home after school near the centre of Ciudad Juarez.

There are fears that Adriana has been abducted and her life is at risk. According to local human rights organisation, four Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights and girls have been killed within the first few weeks of January, including a 10-year old girl who had been sexually assaulted and stabbed to death.

Amnesty International has appealed to its members to call on the Mexican authorities to conduct a rapid and effective investigation into her disappearance and to establish her whereabouts.

Amnesty International UK Director, Kate Allen said:
“Disturbing acts of violence and senseless killings of Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights remain a very real and grave problem in Ciudad Juárez. At least 430 Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights and girls have been murdered, and 40 are still missing in this part of Mexico.

“The authorities in this state should do all they can to effectively investigate these crimes, and punish those commit such violent acts against Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights.”

A concerted effort to locate Adriana is underway In Juárez. Adriana’s family reported her disappearance to the authorities. Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights’s organisations, friends and relatives have distributed leaflets asking for witnesses who may have seen her to come forward. And on 27 January, Adriana’s school friends held a demonstration demanding the authorities take more action on her case. Two other young Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights who attended the same school were abducted and murdered in 2003 and 2004.

Kate Allen continued:
“We can help the efforts of those in Mexico by sending a letter of appeal to the authorities by visiting Amnesty’s website. Let’s do what we can to help protect this young girl and to remind the authorities and perpetrators of such violence that the international community is watching.”

BACKGROUND INFORMATION
The four Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights have been murdered so far in 2008 are:
-10 year-old Mirna Yeremia Munoz Ledo Marin who was found inside her house. She had been sexually assaulted and stabbed to death.(20 Jan).
-Johana Radilla Sánchez – aged 20 – who was sexually assaulted and murdered at the home of a relative on 2 January.
- Maria Guadalupe Esparza Zavala who died of a stab wound to the heart, reportedly at the hands of her partner
- An 38-year-old Ericka Sonora Trejo, who was eight months pregnant who was found beaten to death in the bathroom of her house. Police said they believe her father-in-law was responsible.

In 2003, intense national and international pressure led the federal and state governments to focus efforts on improving prevention and punishment of these crimes, with limited success.

Nevertheless, less than half the murders committed have resulted in the perpetrator being convicted and sentenced by the courts and a third of cases remain under investigation. Furthermore, despite a federal prosecutor recommending more than 170 state and municipal officials face investigations for acts of negligence and omission in the handling of cases, no official has ever been brought to justice.

To take action, visit www.amnesty.org.uk/cases

View latest press releases