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Young women are getting abducted off the streets of Mexico’s second largest city

March 28, 2016
There has been a significant rise in the number of killings and disappearances of women in Jalisco in recent years.

There has been a significant rise in the number of killings and disappearances of women in Jalisco in recent years.

When 19-year-old Denisse Velasco left school earlier this month in Guadalajara, Mexico’s second biggest city, she walked as she always does to a bus stop on Avenida Americas. It was 11am on March 7, and there was no one else around when a taxi pulled up beside her.

“Get in, they sent me for you,” the driver told her. Unconvinced that anyone would have called her a taxi without letting her know, Velasco chose to ignore him.

“Then he started shouting rude words and telling me to get in,” she recalled. “In that moment I heard a voice over the taxi radio say: ‘Get out and grab the bitch.'”

The driver was slim, with light skin, blue eyes, and gray hair, and he stood about 5 feet 6 inches. When she saw him getting out of the car, Velasco fled and took refuge in a nearby pharmacy.

“I was in shock but when I explained what had happened to the people inside they told me the taxi was no longer there,” she said.

It was one of many similar attempted abductions of young women in recent weeks across Guadalajara, the capital of the western state of Jalisco. Yet local authorities have sought to downplay the problem, and many of the victims have encountered difficulties when they tried to report what happened to the police.

The attempted kidnappings highlight a concerning trend in Jalisco, where the number of women reported missing has risen steadily in each of the last four years, peaking at 1,161 disappearances in 2015. Another 187 women were reported missing here in the first two months of this year, prior to the surge of cases in March that has drawn greater attention to this issue…

Click here to read this feature in full at VICE News. 

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