Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Live girls, dead girls


Downtown Juarez at the Hollywood Club where there are found

Outskirts of Juarez where there are found
"DEAD GIRLS" -- las muertas de Juárez
(shown here, being commemorated with pink crosses)

For years, the ongoing death toll of young women (most between the ages of 12-22) in Juarez continued to mount with the public's shock and shame at the seeming helplessness of Juarez authorities to do anything to stop, let alone solve, them.

More recently, the news of disappearing and/or murdered women has been eclipsed by the inabilities of the Juarez police, joined by equally helpless federal police and the Mexican army to do anything to curb the growing violence of the ongoing drug gang war.

But the murder of young women has not gone away. It has only been overshadowed by the 1,609 murders in Juarez last year. As an article in yesterday's El Paso Times by Diana Washington Valdez reveals, the deadliest year for victims of the endless Juarez femicides was 1995 in which 48 lives were claimed. However, as we learned from Valdez, the number of women killed in Juarez in 2008 was 86!


(Dada note: Just before posting this, I received an e-mail forwarded to us from a Juarez friend in what may be another tragic story unfolding of a beautiful young 13 year old Juarez girl. It was accompanied by her photo along with a desperate plea from a parent to anyone who may have seen her since her disappearance two weeks ago. Sadly, this is a story that is all too common in our sister city just over the border.)


eProf2 said...

I watched Bordertown the other night. While there are some "film" moments in the movie, Gregory Nava does a great job of bringing the awful situation in Juarez to the big screen. And, I must admit, JLo does a pretty good job of acting, too. Still, the "picture" of Juarez and femicide is so disheartening and leaves the impression, along with your posts and those of others, of sheer hopelessness. I wish there were some answers to the nagging quesion of what can be done, but I don't see any on the horizon. So long as there is "easy money" to be made from drugs going into the US, murder and violence will be a part of the equation for some time to come.

D.K. Raed said...

Are the dead women part of the drug violence, or just part of the violence? When we lived in San Diego and were following this story more closely, it seemed they were mostly very young women working maquilladora jobs, then walking along dangerous unlit streets late at night to come home.

But now I wonder (and I think Border Explorer did a piece that put this thought in my head) if the dead women are being kidnapped & used up by the drug cartel, then callously killed & tossed aside?!?

Very sad. The beasts that prey on women this way ... I used to think they were no longer human ... now I wonder if they are all too human?

Border Explorer said...

D.K. the authority on the subject is a blogger: Diana Washington Valdez. There are lots of reasons to believe that drug cartels (yes--who use, abuse and discard young women) are in cahoots with politicians and civic leaders all the way up to the feds. Like Dada said on another post of his I just read, the U.S. military has reason to suspect that the toll of this violence on Mexico could lead to a sudden and rapid collapse of their state.

Dada said...

eProf: What a coincidence - our next NetFlix flick (arriving in today's post) is to be Bordertown! While I don't look forward necessarily to the subject of this film, I figure it's an absolute necessity to see. Especially, living in a bordertown right across the river from Bordertown.

(The movie "El Norte" will be awhile in coming NetFlix says - maybe cause they only have one copy? LOL)

But we did see "And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself" (made for TV w/Antonio Banderas) which I enjoyed (more than Mrs. Dada or Sam I think).

As anyone who has lived in El Paso (or visited here), I have my own history with, impressions of Juarez. They started back in the mid-60's when first arriving in El Paso from my native CA.

Being rather parochial as an Earth citizen, I never felt more alive than during visits to Juarez. The colors, the smells, the sounds and exciting people were a delight to my senses. And there was always a hint of "danger" or adventure one didn't feel back home. Most fear was of the police, often corrupt and operating their little part-time jobs on the side of bribing touristas for a few extra bucks in exchange for their freedom. I haven't been there in many years now after an early morning Sunday call from a friend, after an all-nighter, in need of a bailout before the police carted him off to jail. Fortunately, we were able to 'ride to his rescue' and liberate him, not with bullets, but $$$ instead.

I am terribly saddened for the huge tragedy Juarez has become. Saddened for its many, many victims and remorseful it shall never be anything like I remember it again. Not in this lifetime.

Deke: Yes, as with the SD/TJ area of CA, many young women drawn to the border to work for the maquilas were preyed upon - at the cost of their lives.

B.E. is correct, the Mexican corruption is rampant. I used to be horrified at such, but 8 years of Bush/Cheney has lessened my shock.

enigma4ever said...

wow....thanks for covering this..up north we don't hear enough about this story...or much at all....really sad....

DK raises a point...are dead women, young girls part of the business ? I don't know....sad...