For the last five years, Mexico's Frida Guerrera has made it her personal mission to tell the stories of women who were murdered by men in her country. But as the Guardian reports, the 50-year-old journalist frequently goes well beyond blogging about these victims—she actually tracks down their killers. Guerrera claims to have helped police find 40 such murderers since 2017, and while that stat can't be confirmed, the prosecutor's office for Mexico State says Guerrera has indeed helped resolve multiple murder cases. The story by Meaghan Beatley explores the big-picture reasons behind Guerrera's quest to call attention to the phenomenon of femicide—the murder of a woman because she's a woman. Latin America in general is particularly notorious for such killings, and only Brazil registers more femicides than Mexico in the region.
Add in apathetic, misogynistic responses from police when families report a missing woman, and you've got the impetus for Guerrera's mission. "I've always believed the girls tell me where to go," she tells Beatley. "Call it magic." Guerrera uses an alias, given the regular death threats she receives. "She has been constantly shedding light on specific cases of women who have fallen victim to violence, which is something that very few people in Mexico have actually done," says Jan-Albert Hootsen, Mexico's representative for the Committee to Protect Journalists. The story focuses on a case in which Guerrera deliberately insulted a man on the run who was suspected in multiple murderers. "I'm waiting for you here," she wrote online to the "idiot." He took the bait, corresponded with her online, and told her of other killings before his arrest. Read the full story. (Read more Longform stories.)