Friday, December 19, 2008

Killing Women for Sport: Femicides

photo caption: "Not One More!" Each spike in this memorial at the gate to the entrance to Juarez represents one woman killed.

Ciudad Juarez registered 81 femicides so far in 2008, more than doubling the worst years of 1996 and 2001 in which the city recorded 37 women murdered. El Diario de Juarez provided the following accounting of femicides since 1993, when Esther Chavez Cano, a local human rights activist, first called attention to problem:

Year & Femicides

1993 19
1994 19
1995 36
1996 37
1997 32
1998 36
1999 18
2000 32
2001 37
2002 36
2003 28
2004 19
2005 33
2006 20
2007 25
2008 81

Of the 81 cases so far this year, 55 deaths resulted from organized crime, while the Special Investigator for Deaths of Women (FEIHM) is handling the other 26 cases. Sixteen of these 26 cases remain under investigation while the other ten cases have been declared resolved. Two twelve-year-old girls are among the victims.

Femicides are reported as a special concern in Juarez. These deaths of women typically involve sexual assault and mutilation. The murders are not solved or persons who are clearly innocent are framed for the crimes. The crimes are crimes of wanton power, ruthless and apparently done in colusion with lawful authorities. Lovely young women are abducted and brought as a special prize to cartel leaders, then their naked mutilated body is found tossed somewhere--or perhaps strategically placed to embarrass a property owner.

The 2008 movie Bordertown, starring Jennifer Lopez and Antonio Bandaras, highlighted the situation. The movie production occurred largely out of town, in part due to the death threats it received. It is a place to good start if you're just learning about this situation.

This post is based on information from the Mexico Solidarity Network. They have a staffer on location in Juarez.


Randal Graves said...

It'd be nice if the testosterone could be saved for the sporting fields instead of the killing fields.

DCup said...

How horrifying. Randal is right.

Carol said...

Or maybe the testosterone could be spent on competing to find the best ways to save this planet and all of its beings!

I am sickened by this information. Good for the movie-makers for making that film in spite of death threats. What a world we live in!

Yolanda said...

This is very sad and the word does need to get out.

Dianne said...

CBS news very recently told of the 'drug war' escalating beyond control in Mexico and Juarez was one of the most bloody of all places

and guess what - virtually all the guns being used are manufactured and purchased here in the US and then used in Mexico to kill innocent people -

one part of the report showed local women and a few police officers throwing themselves in front of children whose school was in the middle of an all out guns blazing battle between 2 gangs

yet the US bitches about people coming here to find some work no one else will do - funny how the NRA isn't bitching about their guns going the other way across the fence

Liberality said...

This is just horrible. It is patriarchy run amok and as close to evil as I can define it. The only thing worse would be doing this to children. It causes me nightmares and untold heartache.

Maithri said...

Maybe we should write letters to government officials....

Highlighting the extent of this problem... and asking what they are going to do about it.

Any ideas on who we might write to my friend?

With love and thanks, M

Border Explorer said...

Yes, femicide is horrifying. And this is just one aspect of the evil of Juarez which is more bizarre each day, as Dianne suggests.

Amnesty Int.'s summary/report (5 years ago) of femicide is found here. Local expert/author on femicide Diana Washington Valdez suggests an international tribunal is the best hope for a solution. Her blog (I've linked) keeps me informed on the latest--N.B.:on her most recent (12/7) post two more college women are missing. Years ago there was quite an international alarm out about this situation, but people have lost interest and fallen away from the cause.

You can find a petition to sign (Amnesty Int.) HERE.

Doesn't our U.S. press do a great job of keeping all this under wraps? This all happens just a few miles from where I sleep each night! I thank you all very sincerely. It's not that I'm trying to give you nightmares (Sorry, Liberality!!) but sometimes I feel like I'm sounding an alarm & your supportive response is reassuring me that some people are receiving the message. Bless you!

Jan said...

Glad you reminded me of this. The stats make it even worse than I remembered.

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

This is horrifying.

D.K. Raed said...

In the late 90's & early 00's, the Juarez murders were all over the news where I lived in San Diego. The descriptions were grisly and scary. You hit the EVIL angle on the head. That was an aspect much speculated on. People were saying an evil presence was stalking these young women late at night. Of course the "evil presence" is just us humans.

For awhile it seemed the murders fell below the required number of deaths to make the news. I was under the misimpression that they had continued to taper off. Obviously NOT! Thank you for reminding us. I can't understand why this isn't making more news. It is definitely femicide.

Sienna said...

My heart and thoughts go out to these innocent girls and women and their families.

Thankyou for the link to the petition site and more..

It is incredulous that one human can do this to another. Perhaps worse still that a country's government does not shift heaven and earth to cease the slaughter of her innocent children.

Jennifer and Antonio are important players to highlight the atrocities, and we can sign petitions and protest to amnesty and the United Nations representative of our each country.

Take care Border Explorer. Such a brave voice too.


Distributorcap said...

thanks for spreading the word on this -- this is so awful

susan said...

Sometimes all I can do is hope there really is a heaven.. and the other place too.