Medical student, 24, found strangled weeks after reporting sex abuse and asking to transfer to different hospital. Picture: Supplied
Medical student, 24, found strangled weeks after reporting sex abuse and asking to transfer to different hospital. Picture: Supplied

Medical student dies after request ignored

A young medical student in Mexico was found strangled to death in her home, just weeks after she reported a sexual assault to police and requested a transfer to another hospital.

Mariana Sanchez Davalos, 24, was a budding medical student and surgeon graduate working at a clinic in the municipality of Ocosingo. She was found dead on January 28, The Sun reports.

According to police, her autopsy revealed she was strangled to death but there were no other signs of violence or sexual abuse.

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Mariana Sanchez Davalos, 24, was a medical student in Mexico. Picture: Supplied
Mariana Sanchez Davalos, 24, was a medical student in Mexico. Picture: Supplied

Local media reported that Ms Davalos had reported a sexual assault by a member of the local community to police several weeks before her murder, yet the case was never investigated.

She then asked the National Autonomous University of Chiapas, where she was enrolled, to transfer her to another location.

However, Ms Davalos was instead granted a month of leave while her relocation request was ignored.

She reported a sexual assault to police just weeks before her murder – but it was not investigated. Picture: Supplied
She reported a sexual assault to police just weeks before her murder – but it was not investigated. Picture: Supplied

It is unclear whether she informed the university of the sexual assault she had earlier reported to police.

Her friends said the physical and emotional toll of the alleged sexual assault as well as surviving for 10 days without an income sent Ms Davalos into a depressive spiral.

Fellow medical students staged a protest in front of the university demanding answers as to why the 24-year-old was denied her desperate plea to change locations and for a probe into police ignoring her reporting of the sexual assault.

 

Women’s rights groups have expressed their outrage at Ms Davalos’ death.
Women’s rights groups have expressed their outrage at Ms Davalos’ death.

 

Police are investigating after her autopsy revealed she was strangled to death. Picture: Supplied
Police are investigating after her autopsy revealed she was strangled to death. Picture: Supplied

The Chiapas State Medical Students Committee (CEMECH) demanded Faculty of Human Medicine director Dr Manuel Velasco Suárez explain his lack of attention, "since it is not the first time that situations like this occur during the internship or social service process".

The Ministry of Health issued a statement expressing their "indignation" at Ms Davalos' murder and reiterated their zero tolerance policy for any violent behaviour towards women.

Fellow medical students campaigned outside of the National Autonomous University of Chiapas demanding answers. Picture: Supplied
Fellow medical students campaigned outside of the National Autonomous University of Chiapas demanding answers. Picture: Supplied

Officials said they are in contact with the victim's family and will provide support as they investigate Ms Davalos' death.

The case is being treated as a murder though there have been no reports of any suspects yet.

Women's rights groups and online activists have started the hashtag #JusticiaParaMariana to propel the fight for justice.

Friends told local media she had been desperate to leave the area after the recent alleged assault. Picture: Supplied
Friends told local media she had been desperate to leave the area after the recent alleged assault. Picture: Supplied

 

Protesters want answers as to why MS Davalos’ request to transfer was denied. Picture: Supplied
Protesters want answers as to why MS Davalos’ request to transfer was denied. Picture: Supplied

 

Police are investigating her death as a homicide. Picture: Supplied
Police are investigating her death as a homicide. Picture: Supplied

One user wrote: "A medical student should only focus on learning, not having to worry for his/her safety. A safe work environment is needed ALWAYS.

"Mariana's case could have been prevented. Authorities need to listen and take action."

Female rights campaigners the Mujeres de la Sal collective called on the Governor to spearhead the investigation.

"We demand that the Governor of Chiapas take action on the matter and punish according to the law the persons who ignored Mariana's request and a history of sexual assault," they said.

 

 

This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission

 

 

Originally published as Medical student dies after request ignored



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