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Rewinding back history for las muertas de Juárez?

August 13, 2009

A wave of killings started in 1993 in city called Ciudad Juárez, in the state of Chihuahua in Mexico near the U.S. border. All of the victims were young women—many were factory workers. The womens’ families said that the girls disappeared until their bodies were found in a field or vacant lot days or even months later, with signs of sexual violence, abuse, mutilation, and torture. No one knows why these women were killed; many had suspicions. This mass killing is often referred to as las muertas de Juárez, which means the dead women of Juárez in Spanish.

It was reported by the Chicago Tribune that more girls have disappeared recently in Ciudad Juárez. Government officials are not sure if the recent disappearances of women are las muertas de Juárez because the Tribune reported that “those missing today are mostly local residents from stable homes,” pointing out that the ones that go missing tend to come from working class homes.

A horrifying aspect of this news is that only a couple of homicides have been solved, and Mexico’s government dropped the federal investigation in 2006. In fact, the Chicago Tribune contacted the Chihuahua state attorney general’s office for more information, but the office declined to comment. I find these cases disturbing, especially that the Mexican government is refusing to take action on the massive killings of poor women.

The Mexican government’s silence and lack of action about these cases is louder than words: they don’t care enough about the health and safety of women (this includes many other underdeveloped and developed countries–including the U.S.), which are two fundamental rights of a human being. Where is the justice for these human beings?

To read more about the Ciudad Juárez killings, click on the links below:

  1. Susan permalink
    August 13, 2009 8:05 pm

    re: ‘“those missing today are mostly local residents from stable homes,” pointing out that the ones that go missing tend to come from working class homes.’

    I’m confused. Are Mexican officials assuming that “working class homes” and “stable homes” are mutually exclusive? Or, is “working class” a mistranslation of something more like “poor and socially disadvantaged”?

    • Emily permalink*
      August 14, 2009 11:49 am

      I’m sorry if I didn’t make this clear: the recent disappearances may not be related to the mass killings because they come from middle to upper class homes. Many of the women murdered perviously n Cuidad Juarez came from working class homes. Does that make sense?

  2. Gumption permalink
    August 15, 2009 9:24 pm

    Yet the dead women of Juarez are all las muertas de Juárez, regardless of class. Irritating, but not so surprising, that a distinction should be made by those in power.

    • Emily permalink*
      August 16, 2009 5:33 pm

      Of course all of the dead women of Juarez are all las muertas de Juárez regardless of class. However, the women who have recently disappeared have not been declared dead.

      Secondly, I think it is an important thing to address class in this story: all killings were wrong; however, the fact that many of these came from poor, working class homes sounds like these women could have been targeted.

    • Lizbeth permalink
      November 20, 2009 10:23 am

      I agree, regardless of their class. For the time that I lived there, they would just murder any women that was alone late at night.

  3. Lizbeth permalink
    November 20, 2009 10:27 am

    Again their class didn’t matter. Any women could have been targeted. Remember their target was usually young or young looking women.

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