Connect with us

ElPais

Autopsy Of Debanhi Escobar Shows She Was Sexually Abused And Murdered

Published

on

autopsy-of-debanhi-escobar-shows-she-was-sexually-abused-and-murdered
Debanhi Escobar in a picture taken from social media.
Debanhi Escobar in a picture taken from social media. im.jeny09 (RR.SS.)

Debanhi Escobar, 18, was sexually abused and murdered, according to a forensic report requested by the family, to which EL PAÍS has had access. This opinion, which reviews the first official autopsy, rules out the hypothesis of an accident that the Nuevo León Prosecutor’s Office had been suggesting in recent weeks. The autopsy has determined that the young woman, who went missing on April 9 and whose body was found almost two weeks later in a motel water tank on the outskirts of Monterrey, Mexico, was hit on the head several times with a “blunt object” and died before falling or being dropped into the tank. “This was a violent homicidal death,” the report concludes.

The body also presented “traces of a violent sexual relationship.” The Debanhi case has become a symbol of the disappearances and murders of women in Mexico and has opened deep cracks in a collapsed justice system.

The Prosecutor’s Office had added this information to the investigation, although the details about Escobar’s death had not been revealed until now. This newspaper repeatedly tried to reach this institution for comment, but obtained no reply. Since the discovery of the body on April 21, the Prosecutor’s Office has only reported on the cause of death: traumatic brain injury. However, no details were provided about whether or not she had suffered abuse, if she had drowned or had already fallen dead into the water tank of the motel. The absence of official information made it possible to justify the hypothesis that Debanhi had fallen into that water tank all by herself. While the Escobars were burying their only daughter, more questions began to arise. It was then that her father, Mario Escobar, requested a second autopsy — dated April 25 — and later handed it over to the authorities.

The second forensic opinion —which analyzes the images of the medical examination of the corpse, diagnostic tests and conclusions— indicates that the body of Debanhi Escobar showed signs of sexual abuse, something that the first autopsy did not mention. Neither did the Prosecutor’s Office, which has had the independent report in its power since May 2. “The body shows traces of a vaginal, violent and recent sexual relationship,” the report states. “This is deduced from having found violaceous ecchymosis and hematomas [bruises]” in the outer area of the genitals.”

The report concludes that the young woman died before her body ended up in the water tank, without assessing how it got there. This conclusion coincides with the first autopsy in the cause of death, due to hard blows to the head, or in the medical jargon, “intracranial hemorrhage that caused a neurogenic shock [damage to the nervous system] and respiratory arrest.” The most serious injury, which caused death, was a hard impact on the right frontal region of the skull. But the second autopsy goes further.

Debanhi had more than one head injury, as the conclusion of the first public autopsy seemed to suggest. “Violaceous ecchymoses on both sides of the frontal region of the skull, on the right and left eyelids, on the left side of the nose, on both lips, above the right ear and the right retroauricular region,” the document states. According to the manner of death described by the report, “the craniofacial contusions are of external origin to the body and because they are intense, repeated and with different angles of impact, it follows that they were caused by another person and that it was a violent homicidal death.” The report specifies that the blows must have been delivered with a “blunt mechanical agent.”

Debanhi Escobar did not drown. The tank had a water depth of 90 centimeters, according to the authorities at a press conference. The forensic report notes that the body must have been face down in the water, since the back appeared “dark and dehydrated,” while the front was “softened” by the water. But “liquid inside the trachea and bronchi” was not found, ruling out out death by drowning. “She was already lifeless at the time of entering the water at the spot where the body was found.”

The report also ruled out death by suffocation or strangulation, and said there were no fractures or other injuries (besides those to the head) to suggest that Escobar might have fallen.

The silence of the Prosecutor’s Office

Mario Escobar publicly denounced the accident hypothesis presented by the authorities shortly after the discovery of the body. And he has not stopped publicly insisting that his daughter was “murdered.” But until now, the contents of the second forensic report had not been revealed.

Debanhi disappeared on April 9, shortly after the discovery of the body of another woman, 27-year-old María Fernanda Contreras. The two cases, added to the dozens of disappearances of women throughout the state, have opened a deep crisis that the Prosecutor’s Office is trying hard to contain. The scandal, which has created a climate of national outrage, has cornered Governor Samuel García, who took office in October of last year. Feminist groups on one occasion set fire to state government headquarters and authorities are being pressured to solve not only the case of Debanhi, but also that of Yolanda Martínez (who went missing on March 31) and 57 more women who disappeared this year and have not yet been found. In total there are more than 1,799 missing women in Mexico, according to the National Search Registry.

Negligence and errors by the Nuevo León Prosecutor’s Office during the search for Debanhi Escobar have led to the dismissal of two prosecutors. The motel was searched up to four times before the body was found. And key footage from security cameras on the compound failed to come to light in the initial stages of the investigation.

Morbid fascination with the Debanhi case has spawned numerous television appearances in which the friends who accompanied her to a party that night, as well as the driver who abandoned her on the road that leads to the motel, blamed the young woman for her own death. “She was not fully in control of herself,” said one. Other media outlets even suggested that she had “something” in her bag, which they preferred not to mention out of respect for the family.

Meanwhile, not a single arrest has been made in all this time, underscoring the impunity that prevails in Mexico, where 95% of cases are never solved.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

ElPais

Oklahoma Passes America’s Most Restrictive Abortion Bill

Published

on

oklahoma-passes-america’s-most-restrictive-abortion-bill
Demonstration for the right to abortion, this Saturday in Austin (Texas).
Demonstration for the right to abortion, this Saturday in Austin (Texas).Brandon Bell (AFP)

Oklahoma on Thursday approved the most restrictive abortion legislation in the United States. It will rely on lawsuits filed by private citizens and prohibit voluntary pregnancy terminations in almost all cases. Once signed by the governor, it will take effect immediately. Oklahoma’s legislative initiative is even stricter than the one approved last year by Texas, and comes as the county awaits a ruling by the Supreme Court involving Roe v. Wade, which in 1973 recognized the constitutional right to abortion in the country.

The new Oklahoma law, based on the Texas one but revised and expanded, will prohibit abortion from the moment of fertilization. The Texas law, also known as the heartbeat law, allows it up to the sixth week of pregnancy.

The bill was approved by a large majority of Oklahoma lawmakers -76 votes in favor and only 16 against- and it leaves health personnel and anyone who “aids or abets” abortions exposed to civil lawsuits from private citizens. Governor Kevin Stitt, a Republican who promised to make Oklahoma the most anti-abortion state in the country, is expected to sign it shortly.

The country is thus divided into two halves, which also show the gap between Republicans and Democrats at a politically delicate moment, with mid-term elections on November 8.

If the bill is signed into law by Governor Stitt -and nothing seems to indicate otherwise- it will have indirect effects in Texas, by eliminating the possibility of legally having abortions in the neighboring state. The bill, in addition, foresees sanctios even for those from outside the state who help Oklahoma women have abortions.

The Supreme Court ruling is expected in the coming weeks, possibly in June. Oklahoma is one of 13 states with trigger laws that would automatically ban first- and second-trimester abortions if the Supreme Court overturned the landmark Roe v. Wade precedent.

Two weeks ago, just after Judge Samuel Alito’s opinion against Roe v. Wade was leaked, Governor Stitt signed a six-weeks-after-conception ban modeled after Texas. The previous month he had signed another one that theoretically should enter into force at the end of August, completely prohibiting abortion except in cases of death risk for the mother.

We’re expecting to hear yet another bill that bans abortion in Oklahoma, but this one is the most extreme. HB 4327 outlaws abortion from the moment of fertilization by defining “unborn child” as a human fetus or embryo in any stage of gestation from fertilization until birth. 1/

— Emily Virgin (@EmilyVirginOK) May 18, 2022

The bill approved this Thursday combines two approaches: to ban abortion completely and to broaden its civil and social implications. Oklahoma is declaring war on any individual, group or collective that contributes to the practice of an abortion. This includes, for example, donors to family planning groups and organizations that protect women from states with very restrictive laws, even if they are far from Oklahoma. It is unknown if this harassment of facilitators includes states that, like New York, are viewed as safe havens for women who cannot have an abortion in their own state.

The new Oklahoma law will offer “rewards” of up to $10,000 for those who report an abortion, as well as compensatory damages, including among others for “emotional distress.” The bill exempts women who have an abortion from lawsuits, as it is viewed as a red line that legislatures don’t dare cross at the moment.

Abortions will be allowed if the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest, as long as the crime has been reported.

Continue Reading

ElPais

Have We Lost Interest In Sex?

Published

on

have-we-lost-interest-in-sex?

Sex is not what it used to be, at least according to a growing number of experts. Columnist Katherine Dee, for example, foresaw the arrival of a wave of “sex negativity” last year in UnHerd magazine in response to the stigmas and anxiety generated by a culture of hedonism and the idea – or fallacy, as she calls it – of free sex.

Her voice is being echoed by Christine Emba, author of Rethinking Sex: A Provocation, in which she argues that social hyper-sexualization has contributed to people feeling guilty about not having sex or ashamed of their own feelings on account of the pressure to have an “appetite that must be satisfied at all costs.”

There is not much data to support these opinions, but what does exist is compelling. In 2016, the academic journal Archives of Sexual Behavior published a study indicating that the amount of sex had by the millennial generation, at least those residing in the US, was notably less than that had by Generation X and closer to the amount enjoyed, or otherwise, by baby boomers in their youth: more than 15% of those born between 1990 and 1994 did not have sex between their 18th and 22nd birthdays, a figure that was only 6.3% for those born between 1965 to 1969 when they fell into that age bracket. In 2015, the US Center for Disease Control also noted a decline in the percentage of high school students who had had sex: 41%, down from 54% in 1991.

The Atlantic magazine dedicated a cover story to the phenomenon in 2018, dubbing it the “sex recession.” By 2020, more studies were already warning that the same was happening in the UK (according to The British Medical Journal), Switzerland (according to a consulting firm, United Mind), Japan (according to the Center for Family Planning) and Finland (according to the Population Research Institute). And it was being repeated among those belonging to Generation Z – people born after 1997 – who have been labeled puriteens, an indication that the so-called “hook-up” culture, with no strings attached, was dead, at least, culturally speaking – buried under TikTok videos encouraging celibacy. “Hook-up culture is bad for physical and mental health, and by normalizing it to such an extent, the true value of sex is lost. I’m sick of spending my time and energy on worthless hookups,” said one 22-year-old Brooklyn-based student, Sarah Kabba, in The Cut.

The fact that sex has become as easy as opening an app has led to concerns that sex and even oneself are turning into just another commodity. That is why there are analysts who believe the loss of the “hook-up” culture is no loss at all. “The ease with which we can have sex ends up detracting from the excitement and the emotional dimension is lost,” says writer Luisgé Martín, author of ¿Soy yo normal? Filias y parafilias sexuales (or, Am I Normal? Sexual Paraphilias and Philias), which argues for the right to explore desire without prejudice. “We have gone from sex without love to not being able to conceive of sex with love, and that obviously disconcerts us as human beings,” he adds. “I advocate separating sex from love, but not love from sex. You have to learn to have sex without emotional implications, but not to ignore the fact that those implications exist.”

The proliferation of parties and plans to meet people and “flirt” the old-fashioned way indicates a general weariness of the “Tinder” culture.
The proliferation of parties and plans to meet people and “flirt” the old-fashioned way indicates a general weariness of the “Tinder” culture. Getty / Collage: Blanca López

For Christine Emba, one of the keys lies in the fact that sex has been liberated, while women have not. The Washington Post columnist thinks it is a mistake for conversations about sex to begin and end with consent: “It’s a good ethical floor, but a terrible ceiling,” she says. One of the examples she refers to is the short story Cat Person, by Kristen Roupernian and published in The New Yorker in 2017, which depicts the typical “nice guy,” a man who pretends to be charming and attentive with the sole purpose of getting sex, and who, when it comes down to it, shows not the slightest interest in the tastes and preferences of his bed partner.

Luisgé Martín, however, is concerned that morality is dominating our concept of pleasure: “I believe that the opposite to what should have taken place is happening,” he says. “Instead of an opening up of female sexuality, we are returning to repression for all. When it comes to relationships, social class, power, age, bodies are all taken into account… You have to use an algorithm to know if you can desire someone, and that kills desire or destroys it.”

Be that as it may, the era of hyper-sexualization is on the wane in public discourse: the traditional shame of voluntary or involuntary chastity has given way to the reasonable idea that experiencing pleasure is not something we should be under pressure to do, as if we were on some kind of production line. Because, as a certain Javier Krahe who was around long before Generation Z, sang, “It’s not all about fucking, you’ve got to buy some socks too.”

Continue Reading

ElPais

Dolphins Recognize Their Friends By Tasting Their Urine

Published

on

dolphins-recognize-their-friends-by-tasting-their-urine

“Man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much – the wheel, New York, wars and so on – while all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water,” wrote Douglas Adams in his Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. “Conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man – for precisely the same reasons.”

Adams was trying to make the point that “things are not always what they seem” but the parallels are undeniable: it has even recently been discovered that female dolphins have clitorises which can give them just as much pleasure as female humans can get from theirs. And now it seems these marine mammals actually have one over on us as they have been found to recognize their friends and relatives by taste, a characteristic that has not yet been ascribed to humans; just as well, some might say, since dolphins do so by catching the flavor of their pee in the water.

A team of researchers has just published a study in the Science Advances journal on this ability in dolphins, a trait that has an important evolutionary component. “It’s important because dolphins are the first vertebrates shown to have the capacity for social recognition through taste alone” rather than the more typical sense of smell, explains animal intelligence specialist and the research’s lead author, Jason Bruck from St. Andrews University. “This is a new concept for our understanding of taste sensory biology and highlights how little we know about this sense in general.”

But there’s even more to the skill than first meets the eye: researchers found that eight dolphins were able to link the taste information from the urine to the characteristic signature whistle of each animal – dolphins have a unique whistle that defines them individually and functions like a name and other members of their group can recognize them by this whistle and even echo the sound back, in the same way, a person might use someone’s name. Basically dolphins use both systems to recognize each other and, more crucially, to think of each other when they are not present.

From an evolutionary perspective, it means that dolphins can “mentally track other individuals, even when they’re not around,” Bruck explains. “That’s adaptive because it allows dolphins to remember others with whom they have successfully partnered, as well as individuals with whom they have had bad experiences in the past, which is important for an animal known for surviving on its alliances.” In short, dolphins demonstrate an extraordinarily complex intelligence: that of making plans with other companions, even when they are not present.

Gossipy dolphins

What was already known was that dolphins can remember the name or acoustic signature of another dolphin that they have not seen, heard or tasted for as far back as 20 years. This means that dolphins “might also be able to make references to a third dolphin, referring to absent dolphins,” Bruck says. In other words, they may talk about another dolphin that is not present, like someone gossiping about someone or planning to meet a third party.

“Because dolphins can whistle about dolphins that are not immediately in the group at that moment, you have the same potential for contemplation about another as a human has when the name of a person is mentioned when they are not in the room,” explains Bruck, who is amazed by this acoustic social recognition system that is so similar to that of humans.

A dolphin leaps out of the water off the coast of Namibia, in a file image.
A dolphin leaps out of the water off the coast of Namibia, in a file image. Tess Gridley, Namibian Dolphin Project

“It’s not every day that scientists find evidence for the use of name-like signals in a nonhuman vocal system. That’s pretty exciting,” adds Bruck. So, there’s the dolphin, rethinking the past, imagining the future, mentally tagging another animal with taste and sound, making plans, talking about others who are not present. And still mucking about in the sea, as Adams would say.

Researchers do not know exactly what mechanism allowed the dolphin to develop this ability, but they consider there’s a probable evolutionary cause as marine mammals are animals that, after developing a life on land, decided to migrate back to the sea, exchanging some abilities for others. “Dolphins have lost much of the brain structures around the sense of smell,” notes Bruck, and yet “some pathways remain in the tracts to the brain. These could have been co-opted by the sense of taste for this purpose.”

So, it is possible that they exchanged the cerebral faculty of recognizing others by a sense of smell for that of taste, which is more available to them, given their habitat. What is still unknown is whether dolphins urinate with a social purpose, in the same way, that dogs pee on trees and lampposts. Or whether their pee can be released on demand, as it were, as dolphins are known to examine each other’s genital area. It is possible, according to Bruck, that on examining one another, they trigger urination so they can taste the pee and store the other dolphin’s identity in their memory.

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2017 Spanish Property & News