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Alexis García Gamboa’s Death Inspired Her Aunt’s Open Letter About México’s Femicide Crisis

On Sunday, April 17, Alexis Gabriela García Gamboa, a 17-year-old from Monterrey, México, was killed by her 23-year-old ex-boyfriend, Sergio Arturo Alanís. Alexis and Sergio were neighbors. She had known him her whole life. He shot her in the neck. Her mother and sister tried to protect her, but Sergio attacked them both. They’re now under hospital care. Sergio currently awaits sentencing.


Alexis and her sister Sharito were getting ready to see a cheerleading performance. As they were leaving, Sergio was waiting for them out on the street. Moments later, Alexis was killed.


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Credit: Flickr CC / Chakana Colectivo

Gamboa’s death adds to the rising tally of femicide cases in México. Femicide occurs when a man violently kills a woman because of her gender. The systemic roots of femicide cases derive from corruption and machismo. Too often, threats and violence against women are overlooked by Mexican authorities. Typically, these femicide victims had been abused and harassed by their killers in the past.


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Credit: Mitú / Alberto Urias


According to Humberto Padgett, author of Las Muertas del Estado, police and government authorities in México often blame women for their own murders. They believe that they’re “asking for it,” for reasons such as wearing short skirts, falling for the wrong guy, or because they are or work in the same parts of town as sex workers.


Alexis’ aunt, Carmen García Núñez, recently wrote an open letter about her niece’s murder, hoping to draw greater attention to these murders and encouraging women and their allies to do more when it comes to reporting violence and abuse.


“The last time I saw her…There was sadness inside of her. I don’t know. Like as if she was looking for something., as if she wanted to run from something. Now, I’m wondering, why didn’t I question anything then. Why hadn’t I intervened more?

Crying doesn’t comfort me. Understanding comforts me. Why do these things happen? Why are we harmed by the people who supposedly love us? Why does harm come from the people who supposedly love you? Why did Alexis love a troubled kid? Why didn’t she seek help? Why didn’t she believe in her fear? What can we do as parents to protect our daughters from this?

I think it’s about empowering women. Of knowing when to say no, and to report the attack the moment it happens.

Make a fuss. Yes, we must make a fuss when someone is being misogynistic or sick. Report it. Even if they call us “feminazis” or viejas arguenderas, or viejas locas. At this point in life, me vale madre whatever they say.

Yesterday, when I asked my cuñada, how are you? Dead, she told me. They took away my Alexis. Why live. I didn’t know how to respond. There are no words of comfort.”


You can read her original letter in its original Spanish on Facebook.


READ: YouTube Removed This Mexican Singer’s Music Video After People Criticized It For Promoting Violence Against Women

For help and information:

The National Domestic Violence Hotline

LoveIsRespect.org, a group that aims to “engage, educate and empower young people to prevent and end abusive relationships.”

Queer People Are Shouting Their Gratitude For Naya Rivera’s Trailblazing Character Santana Lopez

Entertainment

Queer People Are Shouting Their Gratitude For Naya Rivera’s Trailblazing Character Santana Lopez

Vittorio Zunino Celotto / Getty Images

There are few queer characters the people can point to in the past as being someone that changed their lives. Santana Lopez, Naya Rivera’s character on “Glee,” is one of them. Even if you’ve never watched “Glee,” Rivera’s character touched you because of how that representation is so important and empowering.

Naya Rivera’s place in LGBTQ+ media representation will be her long-lasting legacy.

Rivera brought us Santana Lopez, a queer Latina navigating the world of high school in a small town. For many, this kind of representation was so rare and often poorly done that Rivera’s command of the role was impactful. You didn’t have to be an avid viewer of the show to understand and appreciate the magnitude of Santana Lopez.

Rivera brought our experience directly to the mainstream and forced our own classmates to think about the way they saw queer people.

Rivera’s ability to capture the awkwardness and terror of being a closeted queer student in high school still resonates. It is a piece of nostalgia that is so deeply ingrained in queer people that it’s hard not to be emotional about Rivera’s sudden and tragic death.

Who can forget the moment Santana used “Landslide” to tell Brittany that she loved her.

The emotion of a love that is not easy to confess and live authentically is real. Ask any queer person you know about coming to terms with her sexuality in high school and you will hear about the fear and excitement. You will hear about the strategic allyships that epitomize the constant battle between being open and staying safe.

Rivera was more than an actress, she was an ally and advocate during her time on “Glee.”

Season 2, when Rivera’s feelings for Brittany (played by Heather Morris) grew, aired from 2010 to 2011. It was a time when marriage equality was not nationwide. Some states still barred same-sex couples from adopting children. Yet, queer high school and college students had a chance to see their experience mirrored because of Rivera’s insistence.

Rivera’s death is a major loss for the queer community that got our strength and courage from her.

Knowing that all of the “Glee” fans were rooting for and falling in love with Santana Lopez gave us a chance to breathe and feel accepted. Adding her Latina heritage was so important. Queer people of color, who have faced increased scrutiny from their own families, had someone representing them completely and sincerely.

Demi Lovato paid tribute by remembering the time she played Santana Lopez’s girlfriend.

The queer Latina love was not lost on fellow queer Latinos. Lovato herself was not out about her sexuality at the time and she admits in her post that Rivera inspired her. Rivera’s efforts to give the character an accurate and respectful storyline will forever be praised and admired as a fully realized manifestation of our experience.

Thank you for being someone we didn’t know we needed, Naya.

Our hearts are broken and our eyes are wet. We send love and hope to your loved ones. Rest in power, mija. We love you and will never forget what you did for our community.

READ: Naya Rivera’s Body Found In Lake Piru After Going Missing During Outing With Son

Naya Rivera’s Body Found In Lake Piru After Going Missing During Outing With Son

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Naya Rivera’s Body Found In Lake Piru After Going Missing During Outing With Son

Gregg Deguire / Getty Images

Update: Naya Rivera’s body has been found in Lake Piru after she went missing last week. Rivera’s disappearance has sent shockwaves of grief throughout the entertainment community as days passed and authorities combed the lake.

The Ventura County Sheriff’s Department confirmed that Naya Rivera’s body has been pulled from Lake Piru.

Naya Rivera was last seen July 8 when she rented a boat for an outing with her young son. Later that day, men on another boat found the rented boat with her son asleep by himself on the boat. The search for Rivera was frantic as family, friends, and fans publicly grieved the sudden disappearance.

Last week, the sheriff’s department told the public that it was unlikely Rivera’s body would resurface because of debris.

At a press conference, Ventura County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Kevin Donoghue said that the debris of trees and plants under the water could cause the body to be entangled under the surface. Coupled with the poor visibility underwater, Office Sgt. Donoghue was not optimistic about the department’s chances of finding the body.

“We’re putting our best foot forward to try and locate her. We’re using all the assets that are available to us. We’re using technology like sonar,” he said at the press conference. “We have experts who have dove this lake who know it inside and out, where debris pockets might be, we’re relying on their expertise to help us in that endeavor. We’re going to do everything we can to find her.”

Original: “Glee” star Naya Rivera is presumed dead after going missing in southern California. The actress was on a boat in Lake Piru with her 4-year-old son when she went missing July 8 in Ventura County.

Authorities are searching for Naya Rivera after going missing.

Naya Rivera is presumed dead after her young son was found alone in a boat in Lake Piru. The lake is in Los Padres National Forest in Ventura County. Rivera’s son was found asleep on the boat three hours after Rivera rented the boat for the mother-son outing. According to officials, the son said that he and Rivera went for a swim and that she didn’t get back on the boat. CNN reports that the child was wearing a life vest while an adult life vest was found on the boat.

The search was paused overnight between Wednesday and Thursday and resumed as a recovery mission.

Fans do not think that Ventura County Sheriff’s are doing enough in the search for the actress. Emotions are high as fans share their grief and shock at Rivera’s sudden disappearance. According to Deputy Chris Dyer, the water where the boat was found is about 40 feet deep and that wind is a big factor in that part of the lake.

Authorities have classified the search as a recovery in a signal that they believe Rivera to be dead.

A recovery mission means that authorities are looking to recover a body from the lake. The news has devastated Rivera’s friends and family who want her brought home safe. Her son is reportedly doing well and is with relatives as authorities search for his mother in the lake.

Celebrities are sending messages hoping for Rivera to be alive.

Rivera wrote a memoir titled “Sorry, Not Sorry,” which gives an intimate look into her life during and after “Glee.” The actress was open and honest in her memoir bringing up some of the darkest and toughest times she endured and how it shaped her in the years that followed.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Rivera’s loved ones.

This story is developing. mitú will report updates as they become available.

READ: Naya Rivera’s Memoir Talks About Abortion And Anorexia