create awareness about the violence of women in Juarez and many northern border towns in Mexico
Gender relations are particularly tense in border towns whose social fabric is disrupted not only by the maquiladora industries built up there, but also by immigration, sex tourism, drug trafficking, and most critically a dearth of rule of law and impunity for violence against women.
One of the most notorious grounds for violence against women is Ciudad Juarez, where femicide has been rampant since the 1980s, and where
murders spiked in 1993 tallying up to more than 370 confirmed murders of young women and girls since that year (as of 2005).
Some of the women murdered were maquiladora workers in the over 300 factories scattered throughout Juarez or coming from or leaving other jobs where they work. Some are students or single mothers. Women workers are young (average age is between 16-30, but some as young as 13 and 14) and vulnerable, often migrating to Juarez for the work alone, coming unaccompanied by family, and originating from rural areas without much experience in a big city like Juarez.
The murders of these young girls are often severely brutal—a large fraction of which involve sexual violence, such as rape and mutilation—and are confounding because perpetrators reach across many societal groups: serial killers, gang members, drug cartels, often family members (changing family dynamics coupled with economic destitution have increased rates of alcoholism and domestic violence in Mexico).
Victims bodies are often dumped in the desert or places near their work and often are not found until months after the murder. Many of the women are held for days, tortured, and sexually abused.
Government response has ranged from blaming the victims to blatantly neglecting to investigate cases. Furthermore, the mexican law allows cases to close after a certain period of time has passed. The police authorities are plauged by complicity and corruption.
1. There must be accountability for female femicides and justice brought to perpetrators
2. The governement and police force should stop putting blame on the victims for their deaths
3. Violence against women cannot be condoned by local authorities
4. More investigation should be done to examine the effects of rapid economic change in Juarez on gender dynamics in the city
5. There should be greater security for young women in Mexican border towns, including greater vigilence at work