Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Miss Captive Beauty 2010 Crowned for International Day of Women

In what was likely one of the most unconventional celebrations of International Day of Women in the world, Cecelia Juarez, 22, currently incarcerated for drug trafficking, was crowned Miss Captive Beauty 2010 at a pageant for women inmates at Cereso prison in Juarez, Mexico on March 8. She gained the crown from a field of 15 inmates by unanimous decision of the panel of judges.

Milenio TV news coverage provides a glimpse of this unusual concept. The prison director explains that although the women are not imprisoned because they are bad but because they made a mistake and the possibility to learn from a mistake is always available. It's in Spanish, but you don't need to understand Spanish to be fascinated by this news story:

photo credit: Photos by Jesús Alcázar El Paso Times, for a slide show of the event: HERE


thailandchani said...

What a concept! I like the approach, that her crime was a mistake. It's so much better than the annihilation approach we have here.


Border Explorer said...

Nice to see you, Chani! And you're so right. Our prisons are filled and overflowing with people in for drug possession or drug related charges that are not criminal and did not hurt a soul. It is a war waged on the poor for profit.

John (Juan) Donaghy said...

You also might want to look at the blog of the Latin American Working Group honoring Esther Chávez Cano of Juarez.

Border Explorer said...

That was the website I tweeted on the actual IWD, John. [Great minds...!] I met Esther briefly just once, but have great respect for what she accomplished and stood for.

Yeah, this post was rather quirky, not too serious. I had never heard of a prison beauty contest before, but I guess this one is not unique or the first of its kind. Other Latin American countries have them too, apparently, but I have no idea how widespread the practice is.

Spadoman said...

I have not heard of a prison beauty contest, but I have heard of a pen pal program to put inmates in touch with people in an attempt to make friends with someone outside the system in hopes of giving a good influence. The group I heard dealt with Native American inmates, mostly female.
This is a big problem, filling our prisons with people who made mistakes and broke laws, especially laws that are not the same all over. Many drug laws are different, (and more lenient), in some states.
The profiling and disparity of who gets prosecuted and does time is also a problem. Latino, Native American, African American, people with dark skin color and the poverty stricken have a much higher rate of incarceration, no doubt.
Good post. Thanks.


Carol said...

An interesting idea. I don't normally think that beauty contests are very healthy activities, but for someone in prison, it must feel great to be able to participate in anything that can help one to feel beautiful/human/"normal".

Oh, if only we in the U.S. could use the word "mistake" more often and "crime" a lot less.

Dianne said...

I've been thinking about you :)

as always I come here and find something interesting and thoughtful

a lot of women in prison are there for "crimes" that were really born out of a necessity to surivive, to protect themselves

TomCat said...

She's a thfeat to rehabilitation. With a cellie like that, who would want to get out of prison!! ;-)

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