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By Associated Press

The Mexican government has issued its first-ever "gender alert" in response to a high incidence of killings and disappearances of women. Declared in the central State of Mexico, outside the capital, the alert cites "systematic violence against women" and "an atmosphere of impunity and permissiveness" toward such crimes.

Striking figures in the report disclose that more than 1,700 women were slain in the state between 2005 and 2014, and at least 4,281 women and girls disappeared. Most of the missing reappeared alive, but 1,554 have never been heard from again. The state has a population of over 15 million.

The "gender alert" triggers measures designed to spur investigation and prevention, though none have officially been announced. Social groups and activists have been pushing for use of the mechanism since 2007.

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