• The girl died due to secondary mechanical asphyxia by hanging
  • The case is being treated as a murder though there are no suspects yet 
  • The victim's colleagues and friends have taken to the streets seeking justice

A 24-year-old medical student was found strangled to death in her home in Mexico, weeks after she reported a sexual assault to police.

Mariana Davalos, an intern at a clinic in Ocosingo, in the Mexican state of Chiapas, had earlier requested her university to transfer her to another hospital. The body of the student was found in her home Thursday. The Chiapas State Attorney General's Office said the girl died due to secondary mechanical asphyxia by hanging. There were no signs of violence or sexual abuse, 7 News reported.

Davalos had earlier complained against a local community member alleging sexual assault, but no investigation was conducted at the time, the report said. She had also requested the National Autonomous University of Chiapas to transfer her to another clinic but she was given a month's leave instead. It is unclear whether the student informed the university about the sexual assault.

The girl's friends said the incident had taken a physical and emotional toll on her. She was also depressed. The case is being investigated as a murder but no suspects have been named yet.

Though the Attorney General's Office has now launched a "femicide" investigation, her colleagues and friends have started an indefinite strike seeking action against those responsible.

In a statement, Mexico's Ministry of Health said it was committed "to eradicate behaviors such as harassment and sexual harassment."

Such behaviors "seriously harm people's dignity, and girls, adolescents and women are the most affected," Health Secretary Dr. Jorge Alcocer Varela wrote.

Meanwhile, women's rights groups and activists have started an online campaign, #JusticiaParaMariana, seeking justice for the girl.

In 2019, protests erupted in Mexico City after two teenage girls were allegedly raped by police officers in two separate incidents. In the first incident, a 17-year-old girl was allegedly raped by four policemen in their patrol car in Azcapotzalco, while the second incident involved a 16-year-old girl who was allegedly raped by a policeman in a museum in the city center. The protest, though initially peaceful, had turned violent with some protesters setting a police station on fire.

Man Arrested For Sexual Assault Against Child May Have More Victims
Representational image Getty Images/Noah Seelam