Jewish High School Student Found Murdered in Mexico City

A Jewish high school student killed in Mexico City fell victim to “sheer misfortune,” not because of her religion, according to a Jewish official there.

Paulina Rayek, 18, was found dead Monday, several hours after she did not return home from the Naye Yiddische Schul, where she was a 12th-grader.

Her body was discovered in a ravine beside a main thoroughfare, not far from the Israeli Embassy.

“She wasn’t singled out because she was Jewish,” Dina Siegel, executive director of Tribuna Israelita, said in a telephone interview from Mexico City.

Tribuna Israelita is the human relations committee of the Jewish community of Mexico.

Her death was the result of “living in Mexico City,” Siegel added.

A top Mexican official recently said that crime is now Mexicans’ greatest concern, eclipsing worries about the economy and growing unemployment.

Shortly before her disappearance, Rauek had taken part in a dialogue with Jewish Agency for Israel Chairman Avraham Burg, who was on a tour of Latin America to meet with government officials and Jewish leaders.

According to an agency statement, Brug expressed solidarity with the local Jewish community by attending the student’s funeral.

He canceled a meeting with the Mexican foreign minister in order to attend.

“This is a shocking outrage for the local Jewish community, and a shared sorrow for the Jewish people,” Burg said. “Our priorities are clear. Jewish partnership precedes all politics and diplomacy.”

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