The tragic death of Kailani Guadalupe, a 3-year-old girl from the Mexican state of Jalisco, highlights the grim reality facing girls and adolescents in Mexico. On August 29, Kailani’s mother reported her missing after a man had taken the young girl away from her. Nine days later, on September 13, the suspect José Guadalupe “N” was arrested by the Special Prosecutor’s Office for Missing Persons (FEPD).
Kailani’s death is part of a larger trend of gender-based violence against children and adolescents in Mexico. According to the Red por los Derechos de la Infancia en México (Redim), in the first six months of 2023 there were 38 femicides of people from 0 to 17 years of age, a decrease of 35.6% compared to the same period in 2022 when 59 cases were reported. Since 2015, there have been 709 femicides of girls and adolescents in Mexico. Of these, 100 were with firearms and 107 with a knife. The states of Mexico, Veracruz, and Jalisco have reported the highest number of child femicides, accounting for one in every three cases in the country.
Death of Kailani Guadalupe is a stark reminder that gender-based violence against children and adolescents is an issue that remains largely unaddressed in Mexico. Analysts agree that policies and laws must be put in place to protect the most vulnerable members of the population, especially young girls and women. If Mexico cannot protect its own citizens, no one else will.
With information from Infobae