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The murder of a university student prompted women in Mexico to march against femicide



Thousands of women took to the streets in cities across Mexico on Sunday, calling for the government to tackle the growing number of femicides -- or acts of extreme, deliberate violence against women.

The murder of 19-year-old university student Mara Fernanda Castilla sparked outrage among activists and those in the central Mexican state of Puebla, who organized marches to demand justice.

Castilla's body was found Friday in a ditch a little more than 50 miles outside of Mexico City, Puebla State Gov. Tony Gali told The Guardian.

The university student had been missing since the early morning hours of Sept. 8 when she used the ride-sharing service, Cabify, to get home after going clubbing with friends.

Security cameras show the driver pass Castilla's apartment, but she is never seen exiting the vehicle or going into her apartment. Instead, investigators say she was taken to a hotel where she was sexually assaulted and strangled.

Castilla's driver from that night has since been arrested, The Guardian reports.

As news of the student's murder spread, the hashtag #SiMeMatan -- “if they kill me” -- began trending on social media. The hashtag, accoring to The Guardain, has previously been used when authorities have suggested female victims were to blame for the crimes committed against them.

Ride-sharing apps like Uber and Cabify have been growing in popularity because they are believed to be safer than taxis in Mexico.

Since Castilla's murder, Cabify released a statement condemning her death.

Now, activists in Mexico are calling on the government to do more to protect women from this type of violence.

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