Maria Luisa Ortiz Arenas

María Luisa Ortiz Arenas, a member of Guerrero’s Female Activists’ Network, was found dead a few meters from the Iguala-Taxco highway on 6 March 2018. Her body showed signs of having been beaten and sexually assaulted. María Luisa’s family had reported her missing on the previous Friday when she travelled from Chilpancingo to Taxco for the birthday of one of her close friends, with a stop in Iguala. The last contact her family had with her was when she was in Iguala, when she contacted them to let them know that she had almost arrived in Taxco, but she never arrived.

In a telephone interview, her cousin Diana Hernández said that María Luisa “always defended women’s rights”. She recalled how María Luisa underwent a drastic change when an ex-boyfriend, with whom she lived in Acapulco, hit her and she ended up in hospital and almost died. “After that she really got in to defending women. She participated altruistically; recently, together with others, she brought food, coffee and bread to the General Hospital in Chilpancingo”, she added. “She was from Taxco, she studied a bachelor’s degree there. Then she completed her degree in the Accounting Faculty in the Autonomous University of Guerrero and in Chilpancingo she worked in a private firm of accountants. Without doubt, what she experienced motivated her to fight for women’s rights” she concluded.

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Date of Killing:06/03/2018

Previous Threats:No information

Gender component to killing:Evidence of gender-based and/or sexual violence

Type of Work:NGO member

Organisation:Red de Activistas Femeninas de Guerrero

Sector or Type of Rights the HRD Worked On:Civil and Political Rights, ESC Rights

Sector Detail:Women's Rights

More information:Front Line Defenders

1This database records an individual's chosen gender identity. If they do not self-identify as male or female they can use the option of recording other/neither or use the term NBGI (non binary gender identity).