Not One More Victim of Rape or Murder!

In commemoration of 25 de noviembre / November 25 - International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, and in solidarity with all international activist efforts to end violence against Latina women and girls Arte Sana shared the following.

According to documents received from Esther Chavez, Executive Director of Casa Amiga, and data gathered by the victim advocacy group "Justicia para Nuestras Hijas” (Justice for Our Daughters) over 34 bodies of women and girls have been found from January - September of this year in Juárez.

Forensic evidence and testimony confirmed that at least four of the 12 victims whose bodies were found in isolated areas were maquila workers.

8 women were murdered by a husband, ex-husband, or partner, including a woman who was murdered by her husband after reporting him for raping her ten-year-old daughter. The rapist committed suicide after murdering his wife.

3 young women were raped, murdered, and had organs removed from their bodies.

Among the bodies of women from other countries found:

* A victim of trafficking from Brazil, her nude body had been left at the door of a clinic in March

* A Latina U.S. citizen; her body was found in the street with legs and arms bound, and wrapped in plastic bags in April

* A Honduran woman raped and murdered on a train in September

The oldest victim of rape and murder was 54, the youngest was a six-year-old girl who was also stabbed 15 times; her eyes were removed from her face.

It is important to note that the data is not complete and the process of data collection itself is rife with contradictory statements and denial by government officials, as well as conflicting political interests. The data does however confirm that contrary the position assumed by some Mexican officials; the majority of women and girls murdered were NOT the victims of domestic violence.

It also confirms the magnitude of the problem on both sides of the border. While the recurring deaths within the El Paso/Juárez areas have drawn greater media scrutiny in recent years, the sad reality is that gender-based violence knows no border. The brutal assassination-style murder of four Mexican women in the border region of Donna, Texas on September 4, 2002, stands as a sad reminder of just how vulnerable and invisible some victims can be. It was originally reported that the working class barmaids or ‘ficheras,’ were possibly murdered because a patron’s sexual advances were rejected. Over fifty shell casings from automatic rifles were found around the bullet ridden car that was ambushed in the driveway of the small mobile home they shared, yet state and national media coverage of this multiple homicide was overshadowed by the sniper shootings and the first 9/11 anniversary.

¡Ni Una Más!
Not One More Victim of Rape or Murder!

Laura Zárate
Arte Sana

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