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Mexico shaken by killings of 3 pregnant women

April 5, 2018

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico’s independent presidential candidate called for a moment of silence Thursday to protest the recent killings of three pregnant women.

Mexico has been shocked by the killings, in which two of the women’s babies were apparently cut from their bodies.

One of the babies died and one lived.

At a campaign rally Thursday, presidential candidate Margarita Zavala said that the “heart-wrenching stories of three pregnant women” were heard.

Zavala continued by saying that “we cannot become accustomed to accepting this much violence.”

One 20-year-old woman, identified by state prosecutors only as Jessica Gabriela, was found dead on March 31 in the northern border state of Tamaulipas. She was eight months pregnant when she was reported missing on March 27.

Prosecutors said that a woman was arrested in connection with the death after she showed up at a hospital with the victim’s dead baby, claiming she had a miscarriage. The woman apparently hoped doctors could revive the infant.

But hospital employees quickly realized the story was false. Police searched the woman’s home and found Jessica Gabriela’s body. The woman’s husband was also arrested and charged with homicide.

Local media reported that the suspects contacted Jessica Gabriela on social media and offered baby clothes.

Another killing occurred in the neighboring state of Veracruz, where police offered a $55,000 reward Thursday for information leading to the arrest of Brianda Padron Cano.

Veracruz police said on a reward poster that Padron Cano “is presumed to be responsible for killing a woman to extract her baby from her womb.”

Local media reported the baby was found alive Wednesday, and the victim was also lured with an offer for baby clothes.

The third case reportedly occurred in the state of Tabasco on the Gulf coast.

The Tabasco prosecutors’ office said the victim was a pregnant woman who was found stabbed to death on April 1. The woman’s four-year-old son was located wandering nearby, his clothes spattered with blood.

Prosecutors said the woman was eight months pregnant, but noted that her attacker did not try to cut the fetus from her womb and there were “no cuts or wounds in her abdomen.”

Instead, prosecutors said the investigation is focusing on a motor-rickshaw driver who may have picked up the woman and her son.

Such murders have occurred before in Mexico, but not with such frequency.

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