Despite the Juarez murders having once been declared a myth by the city’s largest paper and the investigation once having been declared solved and once been declared over, women continue to be murdered along the U.S. Mexico border in Juarez.
Mexican Federal Police found three women’s bodies stacked on each other in the backyard of a home in the La Cuestra area of the city. They were tipped off to the location after discovering nine women’s bodies in a different backyard mass grave. The nine bodies were found in the Cuernavaca neighborhood. Backyard hidden burials are generally assumed to be drug related but these women are all being counted as part of the missing women of Juarez.
Three women and girls have disappeared already this year from public streets, following the established Juarez femicide pattern:
- Adriana Sarimiento Enriquez (Jan 18, 2008) -high school student, missing 10 days before authorities started searching, students from her school also organized a search.
- Ana Christina de la O Espino (Jan 23, 2008) – no info available online
- Hilda Gabriela Rivas Campos (Feb 25, 2008) – disappeared while walking home from school through the center of the city; calls to find her are being circulated internationally by Amigos de Las Mujeres de Juarez
On March 3, 2008 the women of Justicia para Nuestras Hijas attended the second session of the Congress of the State of Chihuahua in support of a proposal to establish a Special Commission to Investigate the Femicides. Their goal was to remain a silent presence reminding the members of Congress that these women have human faces and human connections in their communities. Instead, The President of the Congress, called a recess to remove the women and then canceled the session entirely claiming they were being disorderly.
On March 8, 2008 women from various groups organized a march through the city center for International Women’s Day to demand the renewed attention be spent on stopping the femicide in Juarez.
The struggle continues.
If you want to read more an extensive bibliography on the issues with links is being maintained by Los Angeles Valley College. There are also several books and films on the subject. Among those most acclaimed: books by Valdez’s The Killing Fields: Harvest of Women and Rodriguez, et. al. Las Hijas de Juarez and the films Portillo’s Senorita Extraviada and Mendez-Quiroga’s Border Echoes. You can also donate, beware of fake donation sites, start here or with any of the links to organizations in this post or Nuestras Hijas.
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Images i and ii copyright Lina Pollota “Behind the Border” Album.